Athletics Australia has today announced key competition dates for the upcoming track and field season, which starts early in December. Victoria will play host to the first four competitions of the calendar, including the extremely popular Zatopek:10 competition at Lakeside Stadium. The December period also includes the Australian All Schools Championships and the 50km Race Walking Championships.
The 94th Australian Athletics Championships will be held in Sydney in late march, spanning a four day period. The competition, which is set to conclude the Australian domestic season, is a critical opportunity for athletes seeking to be selected in the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Teams.
“Athletics Australia, its member associations, athletes and fans Australia wide are excited about the upcoming Australian Athletics season,” Tracey Gaudry Athletics Australia’s General Manager, Commercial & Growth, said.
“In a most important Olympic and Paralympic year, the Australian Athletics season provides the optimum platform for our elite athletes to prepare and qualify, whilst putting on a great sporting show for athletics fans and providing competition opportunities for emerging athletes of the future. Our mission is to engage all our stakeholders, from athletes and coaches, to fans and commercial partners, for mutual benefit. The new condensed calendar format provides that opportunity.”
Wayne Loxley, the Athletics Western Australia Chief Executive Officer, agrees and eagerly awaits the return of the Australian Junior Athletics Championships to Perth, supported by the Western Australian Government.
“Considerable effort has been made to ensure that the upcoming season strikes the right balance between providing both a vital competition opportunity and a vibrant platform to promote the sport and engage the Australian athletics community,” Loxley said.
The newly designed tour has a specific focus on delivering a competition structure that optimises performance late in the domestic season at the Australian Athletics Championships which will double as a trial for the Olympic Games.
“This structure of the season is optimal because it prioritises the Australian Athletics Championships, while providing an important series of competition opportunities in the lead up. The two-week break before the national championship is the best outcome we could have hoped for in terms of ensuring athlete preparedness for the trial,” Simon Nathan, Athletics Australia High Performance Director, said.
KEY DATES: 2015-2016 Australian Athletics Season
– Events in bold are Australian Championship events
– Events in italics are Australian Athletics Tour events
– The Zatopek:10 will feature the Australian 10,000m Championship for men and women
– The date for the Briggs Athletics Classic in Hobart (TAS) is to be confirmed
– There are two double-headers: 20 February (Adelaide & Canberra) and 19 March (Brisbane & Sydney)
– The IAAF World Indoor Championships will be held 17-20 March in Portland (USA)
– The 94th Australian Athletics Championships incorporates the Oceania & Australian Combined Events Championships for open and junior athletes