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Australian Olympians and running legends push for resuming mass participation sporting events

Australian Olympians and running legends push for resuming mass participation sporting events
July 28, 2020

A number Australian Olympians and running legends are supporting the push to get Australia active again with the resumption of mass participation sporting events.

Steve Moneghetti and Robert de Castella, two of Australia’s best known runners have been named as Ambassadors for the Australian Mass Participation Sporting Event Alliance (AMPSEA), which has brought together the industry as it battles through the financial impacts of the COVID- 19 pandemic.

Alongside Moneghetti and de Castella is four-time Olympian Benita Willis and Bondi Lifeguard Andrew ‘Reidy’ Reid, with the four to work with AMPSEA to get Australia’s mass participation sporting events back up and running.

AMPSEA was formed in May 2020 by a group of industry leaders including event organisers, suppliers and supporters. Their purpose is to find a way to return to the delivery of mass participation sporting events during the COVID-19 pandemic.

AMPSEA is developing a strategy to secure financial support from the Government, leading a media campaign to drive awareness for the industry and producing best practise risk mitigation protocols to fast-track a path back to business.

Moneghetti, an Australian Olympic, Commonwealth Games and World Championship representative who still holds the race record for Sydney’s City2Surf notes “If there has been a positive outcome of the restriction on staging major events it’s the formation of AMPSEA and the collaboration being undertaken by our industry to incorporate COVID-19 safety into event planning.

“I believe that this work will see mass participation events being safer than ever before.

“Mass participation events make significant contributions to stakeholders and participants, they raise funds for charities, provide pathways for elite athletes to become Olympians and Commonwealth Games representatives and give opportunities for all runners to achieve physical and mental health goals. I’m delighted to support and contribute to AMPSEA’s important work.”

Robert de Castella has represented Australia at Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and World Championship level, and established the successful Indigenous Marathon Foundation.

Benita Willis is a four-time Olympian, most recently at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and two-time Commonwealth Games representative and has seen the positive impact that mass participation sporting events have.

Willis adds “my career has taken me across the globe to participate in and advise mass participation running events on best practice for servicing elite and recreational runners.

“I have seen firsthand the positive impacts these events make to the wellbeing of the individuals and host communities.

“The negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic can be mitigated by delivering mass participation events which integrate COVID safe conditions while maximising opportunities for participation.

“For the health of the public and the community, it is crucial to get major events up and running again.”

More than 350 organisations involved in the industry have joined forces to create the Australian Mass Participation Sporting Event Alliance (AMPSEA) who will work with Government to support the industry to survive this crisis. 

AMPSEA has worked closely with health experts to develop new measures to enable marathons, fun runs, triathlons and other sporting events to be run safely for participants from as early as September this year. 

AMPSEA is seeking Government support to:

1.Develop a road map for the return of mass participation sporting events with the implementation of new measures to improve safety for participants and event staff

2.Ensure that mass participation event operators are included in the next round of the stimulus package, and that relief is focused on allowing us to retain thousands of employees and support hundreds of suppliers until we are operational again

3.Partner with us in delivering mass participation sporting events in regional communities to stimulate recovery of local economies and support local charities.

For more information on the Australian Mass Participation Sporting Event Alliance visit

Image courtesy of AMPSEA.

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