Understanding how sport and recreation programs in Surf Life Saving could be better leveraged to improve the capability of our surf lifesavers by reducing barriers to participation was the purpose of the Sport and Active Recreation Review in 2015 (The Review).
21 recommendations contained in the report were endorsed by the SLSA Board at The Aussies in April 2016.
The first recommendation (Rec 6) to be implemented was the creation of a Steering Group, with representatives including SLSA Board, State CEO, Active Members, Athletes and Independent representatives with industry expertise. This group is tasked to oversee implementation and maintain momentum over the next 2-3 years.
Other recommendations completed include the appointment of a Participation Manager to collaborate and implement new participation initiatives (Rec 7), development of a Digital Strategy for Surf Life Saving (Rec 13) and work with new and existing partners to connect the IronMan and IronWoman series into Surf Life Saving’s athlete pathway (Rec 3).
In addition, the Steering Group confirmed the key priorities moving forward which were independently reviewed and supported by our National Advisors and State Sport Managers. The 5 key priority projects from the 21 recommendations to be developed/implemented over the next 12 months will bring greater opportunities for members and clubs whilst reducing barriers to participation. They are:
- Review SLSA policies to simplify access to surf sport competition.
- Develop a modified sport product “Super Surf Events” for use by clubs, branches and state entities which provide a range of surf sport event formats between 2-3 hours.
- A national coach development program which develops leadership and capability of club coaches, with support from SLS administration, performance coaches and elite athletes.
- Retaining capable people in the surf sport system by targeting and investing in retiring surf sport athletes to take on coaching, management, administration and officiating roles in surf sport.
- Introduce a recreational membership category and programs to attract new participants.
The engagement from the Steering Group and subsequent meeting with National Advisors and Surf Sports Managers was impressive. The alignment in developing and agreeing the key priorities for the next 12 months is fantastic and we look forward to ongoing support from our members in bringing recommendations to life,” said Andrew Buhk, National Advisor, Surf Sports
Click here to view a summary of the Sport Review