Years before Peter Bol was breaking records in Tokyo, he was struggling to cover travel costs to interstate track meets, but a new foundation hopes to change that.
Athletics Australia has relaunched its philanthropic arm, The Athletics Foundation, to financially assist athletes, communities and clubs from the grassroots level through to the elite.
Twenty-seven-year-old Bol - the first Australian male to qualify for an Olympic 800-metre final in 53 years back in August - said he could have improved earlier than he had with financial support.
"I missed out on a few junior championships and travelling over because I lived in Perth. So one of the national championships that I missed out on in 2015 was just literally because I couldn't afford to get across the borders," he said.
"We wait till we get to the top to support but I think we need it a lot earlier than that. And I think that's where the foundation will play a big part ... once you graduate high school there's so many different directions you can be pulled, and it makes it a lot easier to be pulled if you don't have the support that you need.
"I came through the schooling system, and for me, I know there's so many talented people from diverse minorities that were probably more talented than I am that wouldn't have the opportunities that I've had. So I think the support of the foundation would help them a lot."
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One of Australia's fastest men, Rohan Browning, alongside two-time Olympian Anneliese Rubie-Renshaw, echoed the same sentiment - it would prevent athletes in their late teens and in university from leaving the sport due to financial stressors.
Previously the foundation had only assisted elite athletes, but the relaunch means the support will filter down to all levels of athletics, including little athletics centres, schools and regional communities.
The foundation will seek to fund itself through corporate sponsorship, donations, appeals and equipment partners.
The foundation's chairperson, Andrew Salter, said Athletics Australia depended on federal funding and sponsorship support but there were still many in the sport needing help.
"The Australian athletics teams did us proud in Tokyo, but the only way to carry that momentum forward in our sport is to support our athletes from the grassroots level up so we can continue to prosper," he said.
"[We] will work to ensure no athlete will be left behind due to monetary barriers when they should be reaching their potential on the track and field, or enjoying the physical and social benefits that athletics has to offer."
Similarly to the able-bodied athletes, Australia's most decorated Paralympian, Louise Sauvage, recognised the unique financial pressures in the sport, such as equipment and track requirements.
"I recycle as much as I possibly can with equipment and try to give everyone the opportunity to participate, whether they end up being a groundbreaker or not, it's just the ability to be able to do it," she said.
"A lot of our guys who use wheelchairs or race runners ... can't compete on a grass track. So they need to be on a synthetic track and somewhere that does have access to ... just general facilities."