Surf’s up in Queensland – with Surfing Queensland set to ride on a new wave to success after entering into an historic partnership with the Queensland Government.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the partnership at the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve ahead of the opening of the international Global Wave Conference.
“My government fought to protect this part of the Gold Coast for surfers and ocean lovers, and we want more people to take part in surfing at all levels from recreation to elite,” the Premier said.
“When surfing makes its Olympics debut this year in Tokyo, Queenslander Julian Wilson is set to inspire us all.
“So supporting people who face barriers into surfing makes sense right now.”
The announcement was made as hundreds of surfers, conservationists and scientists gather at the Southern Cross University’s Gold Coast campus for the sixth biennial Global Wave Conference – a three day event hosted by the Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve, focusing on the connection between surfing and environmental issues.
Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni said there were already 370,000 surfers in Queensland and this partnership would see even more Queenslanders dipping their toes into surfing, regardless of their age, gender, background, ability or location.
“This partnership delivers diversity and inclusion programs for recreational, club and surf school participants that will allow individuals to overcome barriers to participation, including targeted programs for people with a disability, women and girls, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other under-represented groups,” he said.
“Queenslanders will have access to new programs targeted at bettering mental health and well-being through surfing.
“We’ve partnered with surfing to ensure our approach caters for individuals who aren’t necessarily into team or structured sport.
“Anyone who’s ever learnt to surf can tell you it changes your life for the better and I want to give more Queenslanders that opportunity.
This is the fifth of six pilot partnerships with state-level sport and recreation organisations as part of the new $32 million, three-year Active Industry Fund.
A first round of pilot partnerships has already been announced with five key bodies from AFL, Queensland Cricket, Tennis Queensland and Netball Queensland, all designed to deliver a more flexible range of physical activity opportunities for more Queenslanders and local communities across the state.
Surfing Queensland CEO Adam Yates said he is thrilled to see the new partnership come to fruition.
“We are incredibly proud that surfing is one of six sports identified to create a meaningful impact with this strategy,” said Mr Yates.
“We firmly believe that surfing promotes a healthy lifestyle and can improve the quality of life for all Queenslanders.
“This new partnership will strengthen our delivery network, making surfing more accessible for all Queenslanders – whether you are five years old or 50.
“Our main focus is to get more Queenslanders more active, more often through the sport of surfing.”
Olympic Gold medallist and newly appointed Executive Director of Elite Success and Partnerships, Natalie Cook said the partnership comes at an exciting time.
“With surfing making its debut at the Tokyo Olympics, there could be no better time for this partnership to begin,” said Ms Cook.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Queensland to be at the leading edge of surfing’s future – from environmental sustainability to elite athletes’ success and everything in between.”
Mr de Brenni said funding for all eligible currently funded state-level sport and recreation organisations will continue while six pilot partnerships are delivered.
“We are embarking on a new era of sport and recreation funding based on partnerships and creating opportunities for more Queenslanders,” he said.
“We must aim for equal opportunities, equal pay and equal representation in sport governance to ensure we have a diverse range of perspectives.”
The Queensland Academy of Sport and Department of Sport has invested $1,263,222 to support surfing since 2015.
The Active Industry Fund forms a key part of Activate! Queensland, the state’s first 10-year, $1.3 billion strategy to encourage all levels of community participation whilst also supporting elite athletes and world-class venues.
For more information, visit www.qld.gov.au/sportrecstrategy
Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Mick de Brenni