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ASRL State by State Forum 2015

forum-2015As mentioned in the recent Newsletter the ASRL Committee are now underway in running out a State by State member Forum. Adding significant importance to these Forums is the fact that we have now also been endorsed to be part of running out the SLSA National Review of Surf Sport and Recreation as it sits within the overall organisation.

These Forums will be must attend so you are now invited to read the discussion topics that we will be covering in each location.

We have been endorsed by SLSA to be part of the process to run out the SLSA National Review of Sport and Recreation within SLS to all rowers around the country. This is a significant organisational review which will commence in July 2015 and conclude in December 2015. SLSA are committed to engaging broadly with members to understand what members want from their sport experience and where there are opportunities to make changes to the SLS sport system for the better. This process escalates our role of understanding the issues within the sport of surfboats but also in the greater sport of lifesaving. It will allow our voice to be more knowledgeable in our response and feedback into the grid.

There will be a range of member engagement opportunities during July-October to gain insights an opinion from clubbies across Australia (workshops, surveys etc). The ASRL state forums are part of this process but this doesn't stop our rowing members from also taking part in any State SLS run review process (we would actually encourage them to do that as well) as the more pressure we can bring and the more levels of the SLS organisation that understands the issues the better our chance of securing positive changes to the SLS sport system.

These Forums will be three pronged:
1. To facilitate ASRL member engagement in regards to key questions posed by the SLSA National Sport and Recreation in SLS review (all input will be recorded and fed back to SLSA)
2. To deliver a more specific Q&A with the membership specifically around the surfboat component of the sport to provide the ASRL committee with insights to improve the sport going forward
3. To inform the membership of progress on the key developing issues specifically affecting boats within SLS nationally

The plan is to touch base first hand with the bulk of interested members in each State (and key Regions in NSW) to seek input and direction so we understand firsthand the breadth of issues and how the membership want us to react to them. This will include but not be limited to:

ASRL Specific Items for members:
• What is the general thinking about the sport of surfboats, its management at the SLS level and the role the ASRL is playing
• To provide a voice that the next ASRL committee can then use to help influence things like event structure, number, style and locations of future events, which may include:
   - Competition including format, duration, type
   - Coaching – rowing, sweeping and competition
   - Value of Member forums as a means to keep the membership information flowing
• To drive the need to recruit new sweeps into the sport and further understand how the ASRL can assist in that regard
• To look at developing our youth and what role the ASRL should play
• Discuss gender equity for surfboats. Females currently make up roughly 40% of the sport numbers but currently have two divisions against 4 divisions for males
• Discuss the racing divisions in relation to age groupings and current trends
• To consider the future of Endurance racing events. Are they of interest, type, timeslot and duration
• To consider the future of Short Course racing events. Are they of interest, type and timeslot
• How do we involve our sport more into the community including schools, colleges, Universities and river rowing clubs to show what we offer

SLSA National Sport and Recreation in SLS Review Issues:

Specifics will follow from SLSA on the review process. All state directors, state sport managers and national sport advisors were involved in the initial workshop with SLSA in Sydney in June 2015. The outcomes of this workshop are shaping the member engagement plan to ensure we generate useful insights to shape positive change for our sport as a result of the review. All involved with the initial workshop agreed that the ASRL/States/SLS/Clubs should operate 'as one' (i.e. a uniform approach) so the data collected can be fed back into a national matrix and be consistent. This also ensures all members across Australia have the opportunity to get involved. The questions that need input from members cover items like:
• The role of sport within SLS – how sport contributes to the SLS purpose of saving lives in the modern era?
• How can the sport and recreation system be enhanced to better support drowning prevention around the coast of Australia?
• Why members got involved in the first place?
• What aspects members enjoy about sport (in the current era)?
• What aspects members don't enjoy about the sport (in the current era)?
• What are the barriers to new members joining?
• What are the barriers to members who have gained an SRC/Bronze Medallion not getting involved in sporting training and/or competition?
• What are the barriers to continued club involvement of existing members?
• How could the sport pathway be adapted (through changes in structure or policy) to better meet the needs of members and clubs while delivering on the SLS strategic objective of reducing drowning by 50% by 2020.
• How can SLS broaden its appeal to potential members in a systematic way?
• Feedback on the current competition pathway – where does it not cater adequately?
• How could SLS facilitate an enhanced culture of physical competence of members to ensure our lifesavers are world class in drowning prevention activities?

Advisory Session on key developments within SLS that reflect on Surfboats:
• Provide an update on the new Coaching/Sweep Accreditation system developed between SLSA & the SBC/ASRL
• Provide an update on the development process now underway for the introduction of new Beach Officials into the Surfboat arena
• Provide an update on the current position for the continued testing and introduction of Floatation Vests into all surf craft areas

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