By Kevin Tiller, CoolRunning Australia
Athletics Australia is the "peak body" for all athletic-type activity in Australia and has been trying to work out how to assist "out of stadium" events, and commenced a Running Australia initiative in 2001. Previous Athletics Australia administrations have focussed almost entirely on traditional Track and Field.
There is a brief mention of the initiative on the Athletics Australia website under "Your Fitness" (then see the section at the top right-hand corner).
As the initiative is quite complex, CoolRunning has collated as much information as can be found, so that as many runners as possible can find out all the details. Note that this page makes no value judgements about the initiative and does not necessarily reflect the views of CoolRunning - CoolRunning will examine the initiative in further detail separately. It can be seen as an update to a discussion from mid-2003.
Athletics Australia have said: "Running Australia is a national network developed to bring events within the running industry under a collaborative structure. The simple nature of the sport has resulted in a complex industry made up of a vast number of running events of various sizes and intentions. Running Australia aims to bring a level of prefessionalism across the sport by encouraging organisers to focus on quality management. The ultimate aim of Running Australia is to develop a structure for the industry that supports, and more effectively services, the milions of Australians participating in healthy, fun and organised physical activity via fun runs."
Athletics Australia have said: "Running Australia builds on important elements of AAs previous "Permit System". It also provides significant benefits to event organisers while ensuring that events in turn contribute to the growth or road and distance running throughout the country." In January 2001 "it was resolved to form a National Umbrella body, under Athletics Australia to represent the interests of the road running community and to work with Athletics Australia to develop the category. Agreed that group would not be politically motivated, with one of the main goals to be communication between Athletics Australia and the events. The group would become a constituted Commission of Athletics Australia, namely Road Running Participation Commission."
- Running Australia Event Criteria - this document is a scoresheet to indicate whether an event meets the various grades : Gold, Silver or bronze (or none)
- List of 2003 Running Australia Events - self explanatory
- Running Australia Registration Form - this document is for race directors to complete if they want to certify their race
- Letter to every council about the initiative - self explanatory
- Running Australia certified events are eligible for discounted race medals and stationery - self explanatory
- Minutes of Participation Commission have a restricted circulation.
Athletics Australia only announced this scheme in late April 2004, and have said: "We have started this membership with some simple components and expect that we will add extra benefits as more relevant companies and events come on board."
- Media Advert for Running Australia Membership Card - self explanatory
- Running Australia Card - More info and application form
- Includes : Personal Accident Insurance (when participating in sanctioned Running Australia events eg. Gold Coast Marathon and the Sydney Marathon Festival), Product discounts (from selected companies including Runner's World, Polar Heart Rate Monitors), Entry discounts (into selected Running Australia events, including the Sydney Marathon)
- None yet - the initiative to date has only targetted Races (2001-Apr 2004) or Runners (announced Apr 2004)
- Out of Stadium Objectives - Part of a blueprint for AA future direction