Athletics Australia has been named as winner of the Member Federation Award, the fourth honour announced as part of the World Athletics Awards 2023.
The Member Federation Award recognises a Member Federation that has distinguished itself in its accomplishments throughout the year and, as a result, positively contributed to the growth and profile of the sport. Six federations were shortlisted for this year’s award, each nominated by one of the six area associations, before Australia was selected as the winner.
“I am delighted that Athletics Australia has been selected as Member Federation of the year,” said Jan Swinhoe, who became the federation’s President in 2021 and ended her nine-year maximum term on the Athletics Australia Board earlier this year. “We are so proud, after having the opportunity for the first time ever of hosting the World Cross Country Championships, which we did in February in Bathurst. In addition, we performed very well in Budapest, our best result ever at a World Championships.
“But all of this comes off the back of a lot of hard work, which is both within Australia but also in collaboration with a number of our other Member Federations and, of course, with World Athletics.”
Australia started 2023 by hosting the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, claiming a medal in the mixed relay. Oceania’s first World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting followed a few days later as the inaugural edition of the Maurie Plant Meeting, formerly the Melbourne Track Classic, took place.
The nation had its best ever World Championships in Budapest, claiming a total of six medals – one gold, two silver and three bronze – and finishing joint eighth on the overall placing table. The gold medal was claimed by Nina Kennedy as she cleared a national outdoor record of 4.90m in the pole vault and shared the title with USA’s Katie Moon.
A number of other Australian and Oceania records were set throughout the year, including an area 1500m mark of 3:56.92 by Linden Hall and a national discus record of 68.43m by Matt Denny at the Wanda Diamond League Final.
“A couple of months ago I was given the honour of becoming the President of Athletics Australia,” said Jane Flemming, who succeeded Swinhoe in that role in October. “I too want to thank World Athletics for their support, particularly with the World Cross Country Championships. Also, to acknowledge the Maurie Plant Meeting in March, where we had a sell-out crowd. It was a really successful meet.
“We have a new junior programme about to be launched and that also has the backing of World Athletics. Thank you so much to World Athletics for your support of athletics here in Australia but also to our neighbours in the Oceania region. We very much appreciate all the support that you give us.”
Other winners already announced as part of the World Athletics Awards 2023 include Laurent Meuwly (Coaching Achievement Award), Falilatou Tchanile-Salifou (Woman of the Year) and Mattia Ozbot (Photograph of the Year). Further announcements will be made in the coming days, ahead of the World Athletes of the Year and Rising Stars being revealed on Monday 11 December.