- February 22, 2023
360 Sport and Entertainment brokered and manages the partnership between Rio Tinto and Athletics Australia for the Rio Tinto Athletics for the Outback and Rio Tinto Raise the Bar programs.
In 2022, more than one-thousand one-hundred school aged children from regional and remote Australia participated in the Rio Tinto Athletics for the Outback and Rio Tinto Raise the Bar programs.
Held across Western Australia, Queensland and Northern Territory, the programs provide participants with access to unique athletics experiences and coaching, while promoting tertiary education and career opportunities for young Indigenous Australians.
Rio Tinto Athletics for the Outback provides opportunities for participation in athletics through the provision of equipment, knowledge, and connection. Accredited Athletics Australia coaches visit communities to conduct coaching clinics, come-and-try days, develop local running clubs and upskill community leaders and teachers as accredited coaches, providing expertise to continue the program work in the community. Programs are delivered in schools and through local community partnerships.
“Rio Tinto Athletics for the Outback is a remarkable program that focuses on delivering positive social impact in Indigenous and remote communities through the power and universality of athletics with the support of the community”, said Adam Bishop, General Manager of Growth and Development at Athletics Australia.
‘The program increases access to athletics in remote areas of the country. It also helps to create further employment and education opportunities, and provides opportunities to improve social connection, physical health and mental wellbeing. The program may also potentially unearth the next generation of Australian athletics stars as we head towards Brisbane 2032’.
Rio Tinto Raise the Bar is a pathway academy for Indigenous secondary school students (Years 10, 11 and 12) from remote communities who aspire to participate in athletics. It also provides the opportunity for them to explore tertiary education and career opportunities, including with Rio Tinto. Through a week-long camp conducted at Universities in Perth, Darwin, Brisbane and North Queensland students are exposed to life and education opportunities at university and participate in athletics development with elite Athletics Australia coaches and athletes. Participants will also take part in sessions at Rio Tinto offices, developing skills and competencies that enhance employability and showcase the range of career opportunities at Rio Tinto.
Rio Tinto Raise the Bar has had immense success in supporting Indigenous students in completing their high school education and going on to accept places at university and TAFE with participation rates well above the national average.
“The Athletics for the Outback and Raise the Bar programs are extraordinary programs, but they are only possible to deliver with the support of a committed partner,’ said Peter Bromley, CEO of Athletics Australia.
“The partnership is one of true collaboration that harnesses our collective resources to ensure the experience and outcomes for participants and communities is considered, consultative, engaging, and sustainable, all the while increasing access to the sport we love, athletics.”
Through Rio Tinto’s partnership, Athletics Australia has been able to employ a full-time First Nations Program Manager and First Nations Program Coordinators in each of the program states. Three of the new employees are Indigenous.
“We are delighted to partner with Athletics Australia to support two fantastic community driven programs for students in remote and Indigenous communities,” said Kellie Parker, Rio Tinto Chief Executive Australia.
“It’s exciting to see these programs reach and deliver such positive outcomes in some of the most isolated communities in Australia.”
“Our team is working closely with Athletics Australia to help grow the reach and engagement of both programs across the country.”