Athletics Australia and Little Athletics are set to merge ©Athletics Australia

Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) chief executive Matt Carroll has welcomed the proposed merger between Athletics Australia and Little Athletics.

The merger has been given the working title OneAthletics, with the vision aimed at transforming athletics into the biggest participation sport in the country.

It is hoped the move will provide a clear and logical pathway for athletes, coaches and officials throughout their life in the sport.

Little Athletics is a modified athletics programme aimed at children from five to 16-years-old, with the focus on fun, participation, performance and technique.

Approximately 100,000 boys and girls participate in activities run by the organisation.

Athletics Australia President Mark Arbib has welcomed the merger, which the national governing body hope can grow the sport further and build a simpler structure.

"This is an important and exciting day.

"Our goal is to see athletics become the largest participation sport in the country and we are excited to have the opportunity to unite with Little Athletics to help make this happen.

"Our vision is to create a clear pathway that will drive life-long involvement from Little Athletics to juniors, seniors, and masters.

"By providing a simpler structure and an improved transition for teenagers going into senior athletics, we will keep athletes in the sport for longer; improving our potential talent pool and helping to unearth the next Catherine Freeman, Sally Pearson, Jared Tallent or Brandon Starc.

"The proposed merger will allow for better use of organisational resources and improved administration.

"It will also drive more commercial opportunities, product innovation and reduced duplication."

Little Athletics Australia President Andrew Pryor said the merger would give a fresh impetus and ensure the backing of new clubs.

Little Athletics will now focus on the ages up to 12-years-old and will deliver athletics in primary schools.

AOC chief executive Carroll has expressed his organisation's support for the merger, expressing the view it will have an "enormous impact".

"The AOC supports the proposed OneAthletics merger and congratulates the athletics community on their vision to grow the sport in a united, streamlined organisation," Carroll said.

"Every Olympian starts their athletic journey by simply having a go, whether it's at their local club, or in their local park or pool.

"Making it simpler to have people participate at the grassroots level, develop their skills and follow their Olympic dreams will have an enormous impact.

"Sport provides positive health outcomes, can help tackle the obesity crisis, contribute to personal well-being and help kids unleash their potential.

"National Federations make these outcomes possible for millions of Australians, bringing together a dedicated community of participants, officials and administrators, many of which are volunteers.

"The AOC is encouraged by the potential impact this merger can have to those millions of Australians already participating in athletics and millions to follow in future generations."

OneAthletics is the working title merger, with an official name set to be decided by a grassroots consultative and research process.