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President's Newsletter - July 07

The Annual General Meeting time of year signifies that we are about to open business for a new season. By now every member will have been notified of the pending AGM to be held at Bronte Surf Club on the 21 July. We have record nominations which are very encouraging for the future of the League. You will also know that for the first time every member can now vote via our new online system.

This system didn’t come cheaply but will be judged as successful if the membership embraces the opportunity to vote. I hope that every boat rower in Australia takes the opportunity to join the ASRL if they aren’t already a financial member. It is my belief that we represent every one of you but it is easier to reach and understand your point of view if we have your details recorded as a financial member. Membership forms can be found under ASRL on the Web page.

Following is a report on our very successful meeting with SLSA. While nothing is ever guaranteed this meeting was a very important first step. Our discussion was open and frank on both sides and as you can see many topics were addressed with good follow up outcomes. I take this opportunity to thank Dave Thompson the National Director of Surfsports for making this meeting possible and for the offer of goodwill into the future.  

SLSA & ASRL Joint Meeting 29th May 2007

Items of discussion were as follows:

Board of Surf Sport
  • Discussion started with a briefing on the structure of the Board of Surf Sports (BOSS) and how the BOSS formed part of the SLSA Structure.
  • A further explanation on the structure of the Athlete Commission and the role of the Boat Rowing Rep on that commission. The Athlete Commission will provide the ideal opportunity for the ASRL to provide feedback on topics of interest to the BOSS.
  • Further to the Athletes Commission an offer was extended to the ASRL President to bring forward matters directly to the National Director Surf Sports or the SLSA Representative on Surf Sports.
Sport Development
  • ASRL suggested that a video providing an introduction to 'Boat Rowing' be developed for use in recruiting potential young rowers through schools etc. SLSA made no commitment of funding but did agree that the suggestion could be further discussed with a view to including all aspects of lifesaving.
Rules & Technical Issues
  • An explanation on how rules are formulated was provided and the door is open for any future ideas the ASRL may have with our point of contact provided.
  • The ASRL to follow this process and provide SLSA with any items or concerns etc. This included the current rollover rule and substitution of reserve rower to open in case of injury.
  • The meeting discussed the flow of recommendations from the Technical Committee and the consultation process required before implementation of any rule change. It was explained by SLSA that the consultation process heavily involves State Centres as the Surf Sports Advisory Panel and the Athletes Commission.
  • Sweeps Accreditation process was also discussed.
Official’s recruitment and appointments
  • Officials - a lengthy discussion took place on issue surrounding Officials recruitment, retention and training. The discussion also highlighted the need for good communication between competitors and officials. The point was well made that Officials provide a voluntary service spending many long hours in all weather conditions to assist us in presenting our various competitions.
 IRB Duty Crew Involvements
  • Again good discussion on the topic of IRB Duty Crews and Buoy Laying - this to be followed up at a later meeting with Sport Development. SLSA are currently developing a Water Safety/Judge in Boat/Buoy Laying Course. The ASRL will hopefully be asked to provide further input during the development of this course. 
Surf Boat Panel
  • A general discussion on the appointment, control and level of input of Boat Panels. The National Referee was very supportive of the assistance of having a Boat Panel to call upon for expert advice.
  • The ASRL took on board for consideration the need to be more organised in supporting nominations for the next Aussies.
Event Programming & Structure
  • The difficulties of trying to provide a National seasonal program was discussed at length due to the individual nature of State set programs but an undertaking was given to again look into how this may be achieved.
  • The issue of Boat area location at the recent Aussies was raised and an explanation provided of the commitments that SLSA have in regard to Sponsors, SLSA Australian Council, VIP's other spectators and TV access.
  • ASRL stressed the importance of fair racing and our input will be taken into consideration when setting up for next years Titles.
  • Timetabling and event program variances were also passed around the table, it was agreed these can be discussed further at a later meeting.
  • Seeding and draw systems was also touched on.
General Business
  • The agreement between both the ASRL & SLSA at the conclusion of the meeting was that both parties will continue with open lines of communication into the future.

Meeting Actions

The following items were to be discussed further by the Sport Development Group:

  • CD Promotion on recruitment
  • Officials recruitment - Boat Area
  • Better communication flows (behaviour) between officials and crews
  • (vice/versa) at events
  • Buoy Laying (also recruitment of experienced boaties to train to lay cans etc)
  • Surf Coach courses
  • Surf Officials courses - flexibility
  • Officials Assessments process
  • Boat Specifications
  • Sweeps recruitment
  • Rules general

In conclusion this was a very positive meeting between two parties who came to the table with an attitude of achieving better results by working together.

ASRL represented by Bert Hunt, Geoff Matthews & Don Cotterill


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