Last updated: 15 Sep, 2017

Australian parent advocacy group Parents’ Voice welcomes the boost provided to junior sport by the new partnership between Coles, Athletics Australia and Little Athletics Australia.

The new deal will support grassroots athletics across Australia, including the delivery of more than 2 million bananas to 530 Little Athletics clubs.

Parents’ Voice Campaigns Manager, Alice Pryor, said: “It is pleasing to see Athletics Australia taking a stand for fresh food and healthier sponsorship practices at a national level. Kids’ physical activity environments should be supportive and encourage healthy lifestyles, including good nutrition.”

Parent of two, Kristy Schirmer, said: “There is little doubt that promotions for fast food and soft drink influence children’s food choices and often undermine parents’ attempts to provide children with a healthy diet. Food and beverage companies target children through sport because it is effective and hugely profitable. I look forward to the day that I can enrol my kids in sport without having to check who sponsors the team.”

The deal comes after a 6 figure partnership between Netball Australia and Aussie Apples, signed ahead of netball’s 2017 season. Both deals demonstrate the increasing pressure being bought to bear on sports leagues to reduce the impact of unhealthy sponsorship on junior participants and fans.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter, added: “We congratulate Athletics Australia on providing national leadership on this issue and commend Little Athletics Victoria for improving its list of sponsors in recent years. The provision of fresh bananas to Little Athletics clubs will send the right message to kids that healthy food and physical activity go hand in hand.”

Ms Pryor also urged Little Athletics state branches New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania to follow the example set by Athletics Australia. Ms Pryor added: “The time has come for junk food to be removed from sport. These states should choose to put kids first and ditch junk food sponsorship.”

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Media contacts:
Alice Pryor: M: 0416 219 261 E: alice@parentsvoice.org.au
Jack Vear: M: 0405 015 791 E: jack@parentsvoice.org.au

Note to editors:
Parents’ Voice is an online network of parents who are interested in improving the food and activity environments of Australian children. Formerly known as The Parents’ Jury, Parents’ Voice was formed in 2004 and represents thousands of Australian parents. Parents’ Voice is supported by Cancer Council Australia, Diabetes Victoria, VicHealth, and YMCA Victoria.