The 2015 Australian athletics season will come to an impressive crescendo in Brisbane (Qld), with Athletics Australia and Tourism and Events Queensland today confirming that the Sunshine State capital will play host to the 93rd Australian Athletics Championships on 26-29 March 2015.
Set to ensure the return of the event to Queensland for the first time since 2009, the four-days of track and field action will be the culmination of a nationwide series that descends on every Australian state in the early stages of next year.
“The Australian Athletics Championships is the pinnacle event of our domestic season, where the country’s best athletes are pitted against each other to determine our nation’s champions and we are very proud to be bringing this event back to Brisbane as we look ahead to the 2015 IAAF World Championships later in the year, and of course the Rio Olympic Games the year following,” Dallas O’Brien, the Athletics Australia Chief Executive Officer, said.
“The announcement of our partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland to host the event in one of Australia’s most vibrant cities is a coup for our sport, and with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games on the horizon it is fantastic to know that the Queensland Government is supportive of important national sporting events in their state.”
Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey said the event was a fantastic addition to Brisbane’s major events calendar and would further strengthen Queensland’s reputation for delivering high quality sporting events.
“As we look forward to the 2018 Commonwealth Games, it is major sporting events such as the 2015 Australian Athletics Championships that showcase our ability to host leading sporting events while also providing a platform to profile our iconic destinations,” Ms Stuckey said.
“This event is expected to attract more than 800 of Australia’s best athletes, generate more than 6000 visitor nights to Brisbane and contribute more than $1.5 million in visitor expenditure to the economy.
“The Queensland Government’s 20-year plan for Tourism, Destination Success, recognises that events such as this drive repeat visitation and showcase the State’s unique experiences as the industry strives toward the goal of growing annual overnight visitor expenditure from $15 billion to $30 billion by 2020.”
Minister for Sport, Steve Dickson, said athletics remained one of the most popular sports for young Queenslanders with almost $1.5 million in Newman Government funding to support track and field clubs issued last financial year.
“Under our Get Started program, almost 1,800 vouchers have been redeemed by children and young people to help them participate in athletics,” Mr Dickson said.
“The Government’s ongoing investment in sports infrastructure at QSAC provides a home for the Queensland Academy of Sport, a facility to host high profile events so Queenslanders can see Australia’s best compete, but also to provide the best facilities for our young athletes of the future to achieve their goals and live healthy and active lifestyles.”
“QSAC hosted more than 80 school athletics carnivals last year and hosting elite events such as the Australian Athletics Championships helps inspire the young athletes who use the venue for training and encourage others to participate in track and field.”
Athletics Australia can today also confirm the dates for the 2014-2015 Australian Athletics Tour.
Closing out 2014 with the Zatopek:10 before launching again in the New Year in Hobart (TAS) with the Briggs Athletics Classic, Australia’s longest running one-day invitational meeting, the nine-meet series will also descend on Newcastle (NSW), Adelaide (SA), Perth (WA), Brisbane (Qld), Sydney (NSW) and Melbourne (Vic), as well as Canberra (ACT) for the first time since the Australia Cup was disbanded in 2010.
The Sydney Track Classic and IAAF Melbourne World Challenge will act as Australian Athletics Tour Finals. Athletes who compete at earlier instalments of the series will be afforded the opportunity to automatically qualify for a start at either of the Tour Finals based on performance, with prize money to be weighted toward the most outstanding results at these events.
“On the basis of market research and feedback from our member associations, Athletics Australia has chosen to shift away from a two-tier series of events and as such all domestic season meets in 2015 will be branded as Australian Athletics Tour. This is an important step in ensuring that all events are considered equal as we well know that performances in any state and at any event go a long way to ensuring selection to the Australian Flame later in the year,” Andrew Matthews, the Athletics Australia Competitions Manager, said.
Additional information on the season, including the event grid, travel funding details and prize money structure, will be issued in the weeks following the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
2014-2015 Australian Championship Schedule
5-7 December – Australian All-Schools Championships, Adelaide (SA)
8 December – Australian Schools Knock-Out, Adelaide (SA)
14 December – Australian 50km Race Walking Championships, Melbourne (Vic)
8 February – IAAF World Cross-Country Championships Selection Trial, Canberra (ACT)
11-15 March – Australian Junior Athletics Championships, Sydney (NSW)
26-29 March – 93rd Australian Athletics Championships, Brisbane (Qld)
2014-2015 Australian Athletics Tour
11 December – Zatopek:10 (Australian 10,000m Championship), Melbourne (Vic)
24 January – Briggs Athletics Classic, Hobart (TAS)
31 January – Hunter Track Classic, Newcastle (NSW)
7 February – Canberra Track Classic, Canberra (ACT)
14 February – Perth Track Classic, Perth (WA)
21 February – Adelaide Track Classic, Adelaide (SA)
7 March – Queensland Track Classic, Brisbane (Qld)
14 March – Sydney Track Classic (Tour Final), Sydney (NSW)
21 March – IAAF Melbourne World Challenge (Tour Final), Melbourne (Vic)