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National News


Friday, 30 May 2014 | IMGSTG Admin


Athletes at an Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP) training camp at the Australian Institute of Sport this weekend are set to become Accredited Athletics Coaches with Athletics Australia.

Ensuring that they will return to their communities as both Level 1 Community and Level 2 Recreational Running Coaches, IMP athletes will participate in the coaching courses through a joint initiative between IMP and Athletics Australia’s ‘Athletics for the Outback’ program.

“Athletics for the Outback has been a fixture of Athletics Australia’s participation programs for some time, and the opportunity to be involved with the Indigenous Marathon Project in this capacity is something we are very proud of,” Bridgid Junot, the Athletics Australia Indigenous Participation Coordinator, said.

“Coach education ensures that athletes will have a broad understanding of the fundamentals of our sport and if they can engage their communities through this knowledge, that is a great result.”

“Delivery of Level 1 Community Coaching and Level 2 Recreational Running Coach courses will provide the education and skills for our IMP runners to engage people in their communities and promote the benefits of fitness,” Kellie O’Sullivan, the IMP Communications and Fundraising Manager, said.

“It also provides an education pathway that they would otherwise not have had the opportunity to undertake without the ongoing support from Athletics Australia.”

Established by former world marathon champion and athletics great Rob De Castella, the Indigenous Marathon Project aims to use the marathon as a means of changing lives.

Its intention is to promote healthy and active lifestyles in indigenous communities nationally and reduce the incidence of preventable chronic disease, while at the same time creating indigenous role models and inspiring indigenous peoples.

The IMP is one of many outstanding indigenous organisations that Athletics Australia’s ‘Athletics for the Outback’ continues to work in partnership, with the coming few months a very busy period for the initiative.

“Our involvement this weekend with the IMP is one of many undertakings we are working on in the coming months. Only yesterday we were invited to deliver an athletics clinic to young students involved with the Cathy Freeman Foundation, and next week Olympian Brendan Cole will travel to the Tiwi Islands serving as a Red Dust Role Model for a week long series of health promotion and sports activities,” Junot added.

“We have also recently invited our Member Associations across Australia to provide Expression of Interest documentation to develop Athletics for the Outback initiatives in their own regions, with five successful applications to be awarded grants of up to $40000 and a launch date set for July 1.”

‘Athletics for the Outback’ is Australia’s flagship program for indigenous participation in the sport of track and field, and has reached thousands of aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders for almost 10 years. The program aims to engage indigenous communities in physical activity and recreation and promote ownership of sport outcomes at a local level.