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Coles Extends Athletics Partnership: Australian Major Supermarkets Focus In On Grassroots Sport

C
oles and Athletics Australia have announced their partnership renewal, which will continue into its fourth year.

The signing comes as a major boost for the Australian athletics community ahead of 2021, which is taking shape as a blockbuster year after an interrupted 2020.

The Coles partnership with Little Athletics Australia and Athletics Australia will provide financial support to build grassroots athletics across the country at more than 500 Little Athletics centres, in schools and with Indigenous and para-athletes.

The announcement comes just days after rival supermarket giant, Woolworths, agreed to a one-year extension with Netball Australia to help support young girls on getting out on the netball court.

Javelin World Champion, Kelsey-Lee Barber, said grassroots should be supported as much it can be, as it can help kids pursue their dreams in those fields.

“Grassroots athletics is where it all begins and it’s important to support those dreams and harness that enthusiasm for athletics, so it’s great to see Coles working alongside Athletics Australia in achieving this,” Barber said.

Coles chief executive officer, Steven Cain, said: “we’re extremely excited to help Aussie athletes across the country to pursue their personal bests whether that’s at their local Little Athletics centre or on the international stage.”

“We know it’s been a challenging time for everyone involved in sport and we’re pleased to play our part to assist local clubs and Aussie champions alike,” he said.

Little Athletics chief executive officer, Martin Stillman, said the partnership provided much welcome relief.

“Their [Coles’] support at the grassroots level through fruit donations and equipment grants is where it’s been the most impactful and we’re delighted to have them on board for another two years,” Stillman said.

Olympic champion, Sally Pearson, also said she was delighted to continue supporting the next generation of Aussies.

“I’m so glad to continue my involvement with athletics through Coles’ partnership with Little Athletics Australia,” Pearson said.

“Little Athletics is where it all began for me, so I know how important grassroots centres and volunteers are to helping kids realise their potential,” she said.

Coles has provided more than $1.68 million in grants for sports equipment to 376 Little Athletics centres and more than three million bananas to give athletes a nutritious snack during training and competitions since 2017.