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ASRL Newsletter #68 - December 2016

newsletter2The ASRL Committee has released Newsletter #68 which should already be in your Inbox if you have subscribed.  The Newsletter contains important information regarding the current participation rates, the Australian Representative Team and U19/Reserve Female crews.  All rowers are encouraged to have a good read.  Newsletter #68 is below.

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ASRL Newsletter #68

December 2016

This newsletter will carry information on:
  1. Positive Outcomes in event Participation
  2. Australian Representative Team
  3. U19 Female & Reserve Grade Females

Positive signs in participation:

We have been on the horse of change for some time now and it is great to see what we believe is the start of the ship turning around.

  • SNB up 20% in participation so far this season
  • SA doing great things with Twilight Meets, 15 Year Olds racing
  • WA numbers started slow but hit their straps last weekend
  • Qld had a great days racing on the weekend and they have started pulling competitors up onto the Starters Stand letting them experience what is required 
The message seems to be clear and simple:
  • Event organisers and referees listen to the crews and wherever possible give them what they are after
  • Start on time and finish on time
  • Don’t keep all divisions on the beach for long periods if you have the numbers to block race then do so
  • Crews respect the officials and other competitors and be ready to roll when asked
Great work to those that are making the changes happen, please don’t be afraid to share what is working in your area so the rest of us can try it also

Australian Representative Team:

A lot of debate is centred on who will trial and who may be prevented from trialling. This is currently an unfortunate outcome but something we must all strive to sort out together. As has been said the only losers in this situation will be our rowers. This should never be about the argument it should be about putting the rowers first and giving them the opportunity of a career highlight. While a sweep may have 20 or more years to achieve such high honours the rower could be restricted to 5 or 6 years or in fact maybe only have one real shot at it. Top end crews are hard to pull together and for a multitude of reasons can have short crew lifecycles.
Some of what is being suggested is simply incorrect so here it is laid out for you all to understand:

  • The ASRL argued for and promoted to SLSA long and hard to have an Annual Test Match Series recognised and introduced for the surfboats. It is just a silly comment that the ASRL would do anything to put this in jeopardy
  • A third of the ASRL Committee actually race in the Ocean Thunder Series and have trialled each year trying to win this national team endorsement so again just silly comments to suggest that they would do anything to stand in the way
  • SLSA are right behind the event because they can see the benefits. The Trans-Tasman Test Series now forms part of the National arrangement with the Australian Sports Commission. Hinged directly off the back of that is an amount of sports funding to SLSA so yet again why would they be a part of standing in the way of this event
  • This is an agreement between two National SLS bodies under a Heads of Agreement arrangement where among other things each national body is responsible for the selecting of venue, date and overall running of the event when in that country
  • All that said when the NZ date was originally announced it didn’t suit the ASRL either because trying to respond to what you our rowers had asked for we were planning the Trial on around the Manly weekend. Along with SLSA we sought clarification asking if NZ had any possibility to change their date to better suit both our own needs and those of Ocean Thunder. This would be like asking SLSNSW to change their State Title date or the All Blacks to shift from Eden Park and NZ didn’t have another suitable date and venue in the time slot so we accepted that and made plans to change our Trial dates
  • As late as two weeks ago SLSA again made approaches to NZ to again confirm that nothing at their end had changed that would allow a shift in date and the polite and possibly correct answer was no
  • It is no good people on this side of the Ditch making statements that other dates exist. Of course they do we could send the team across on Tuesday morning to race at a harbour beach at Auckland on Tuesday afternoon in front of the assembled seagulls. What a buzz that would be for our crews. NZ have set down a date around a massive NZ boat event weekend so the teams from both countries can feel the importance of occasion and let us all accept that as right and correct
  • This situation has absolutely nothing to do with personalities or a desire from either SLSA or the ASRL to do anything but support all crews
  • It has to be said that we are potentially only talking about one crew in each Ocean Thunder division not half the event
  • In an attempt to reach a sensible outcome the ASRL has made a written offer to Ocean Thunder to find and finance if required the next best Male & Female crew to attend the last round of Ocean Thunder. The offer was rejected but remains on the table

We won’t go further because like all rowers we just want this issue resolved so any crew wishing to try their luck may have that option. This isn’t about winners and losers it is about our young crews and not another word will be spoken by the ASRL if we can see all crews released to race for their country.
We really do need our final numbers by Monday 12 December so we cross our fingers that calm minds will see the way clear to walk backwards on the attempt to stop some crews from representing. The ASRL is your representative body and you should be in no doubt that we strongly support every and all crews in their endeavour to represent our country.
We do ask very strongly that we never again speak in tones of second best. The crews that turn up to race the trials and the two crews ultimately selected to represent will be the best crews Australia has to offer and they must be respected by us all as just that.

Under 19 Females and Reserve Grade Females:

We are still hearing a small amount of push back in some locations about the introduction of the new female divisions. First thing to say is we need to get over it, this is being fair minded and handed to our female members and it is the correct decision.
Arguments like the carnival will now be longer are a bit like the curtains fading or the cows going off the milk in QLD with daylight saving. If you have 24 female crews and race three rounds of 6 crews that is 12 races. Doesn’t matter if they are in two divisions it is still 12 races so you are adding one extra final.
If you use imagination these new divisions can race as part of another group, you will always have the ability to mix and change to make it work.  The important thing is that we are seeing a lift in young female rowers and the Reserve grade division for females like the males will offer an ability to extend a rowers career lifespan because they can row where they are comfortable.
Luckily in most places the two new divisions have been welcomed and the participation numbers we talk about in the first article are testament to the fact that this was the right decision for the future.
ASRL Committee

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