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Athlete Advisory Group meeting to deliver more than medals for athletics

Wednesday, 28 November 2018 | Rob Cumbrae-Stewart



The Athlete Advisory Group (AAG) met earlier this month, continuing their work of giving athletes a voice in shaping key deliverables for Athletics Australia.

Some of the key discussion points from this meeting included:

Sally Pearson’s Mental Health Workshops

These have taken place in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, were very well received. They provided a great opportunity to reach and share experiences with the wider athletics community, as did it allow athletes to be connected with relevant sources for further support if needed.

Athlete Wellness and Engagement Manager

Josh Sebbens was introduced as the Athlete Wellness and Engagement Manager for athletics, who will provide more extensive support for NASS supported athletes.

The AAG have outlined their intent to work with Josh, delivering a blue print for mental health and well-being workshops that can be delivered to non-funded athletes and those in regional areas.

ASADA Education

The AAG recognised a need for further ASADA education to athletes and their support teams.

In addition to online modules, athletes sharing their experiences will help to get the information across to fellow athletes at different stages.

IAAF Qualification System

The AAG went over the recent updates from the IAAF’s announcement to return to the old qualification system for the 2019 World Championships in Doha.

The AAG recognised the importance for all Australian athletes to support the Australian domestic season and Oceania events, so as to ensure that the meets are awarded high level permits and high scoring opportunities for 2020.

Spectator and Athlete Experience at Events

The AAG went over ways to improve both the spectator and athlete experience of our summer domestic meets -  things such as a timely notification of whether athletes have been selected for an event, as well as more music, colour and energy via commentary, big screen and spectator engagement were discussed.

These improvements would be aimed at the high performance meets in Canberra, Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, the Hunter Track Classic and Melbourne’s Zatopek event.

Athletics Australia Foundation

The AAG lastly discussed the recently re-launched Athletics Australia Foundation, the money raised from events will go towards supporting athletes.

The Athlete’s Advisory Group will continue to meet regularly so as to provide greater athlete input into the future of athletics.

The Group currently consists of: Sally Pearson; Carlee Beattie, Dane Bird-Smith; Chad Perris; Dani Stevens; Jared Tallent; Jess Trengove; Eloise Wellings, Benn Harradine and Benita Willis. The Group works with Athletics Australia CEO Darren Gocher, Athletics Australia Head of High Performance Systems Andrew Faichney, and members of the Athletics Australia Board. 
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