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As part of a new initiative to improve learning and development pathways for surf sport officials, Surf Life Saving NSW hosted 27 of NSW’s up-and-coming officials at the inaugural Senior Officials Workshop at SLSNSW headquarters in Belrose, Sydney.

Held on Saturday 28 September, the workshop was facilitated by leading officials; Jenny Kenny from Cudgen Headland SLSC, Carmel Tapley from Swansea Belmont SLSC and Michael Bate from Freshwater SLSC.

“The course is a great step-forward in educating our officials so in the future we have a larger corral of experienced officials going forward,” said Michael Bate from Freshwater SLSC.

“This is the first time the course has been run and although it’s primarily an online program, Surf Life Saving NSW saw an opportunity to bring all the course participants together for a face-to-face workshop. The level of participation was overwhelming,” said Michael.

The course followed-on from Surf Life Saving Australia’s online learning program and enabled the group to come together and share knowledge and discuss scenarios with specific focus on the Referee, Sectional, Area Referee, Course Supervisor and Chief Judge roles which comprise most of the senior roles.

“We explored a range of real-life scenarios that we see in surf sports competition and, as a group, discussed various outcomes and alternatives in our decision-making,” said Michael Bate.

“One scenario that we explored, for example, was a surfboat roll-over and how many competitors need to be back in the boat before crossing the finish line to qualify.”

“No matter what anyone’s background was - whether it was IRB, beach, boats or water - everyone participated and contributed to each scenario,” Michael concluded.

Surf Sports NSW Manager Rob Pidgeon said that is was a highly-successful event with a high-level of engagement from branches across the state.

"This workshop was the first since the rollout of the new SLSA National Officiating Accreditation System (NOAS) for the Senior Officials accreditation and it was a complete success. I think every participant took something different, but equally valuable, away from the workshop experience," said Rob Pidgeon.

“What is equally exciting is that our members’ learning journey doesn’t end with the workshop. They have the commitment and support of the facilitators who will be actively mentoring members into senior carnival roles during the next season,” Rob Pidgeon concluded.

At the completion of their assessments, this group will gain their Senior Official accreditation and be the first officials in Australia to complete the training since the new framework was rolled-out by Surf Life Saving Australia.

Workshop Participants

  • Craig Sheppard (Killcare)

  • Simon Cusack (Umina)

  • Shane Dowsett (Swansea Belmont)

  • Stacey Gay (Caves Beach)

  • Mick Mottley (Caves Beach)

  • Adrian Walsh (Windang)

  • Carl Williams (Helensburgh Stanwell Park)

  • Martin Ward (North Wollongong)

  • Jerrad Allan (Pacific Palms)

  • Troy Fowler (Forster)

  • Kerry Fowler (Forster)

  • Robert McCue (Port Macquarie)

  • Heath Askew (Tacking Point)

  • Jess Phillips (Sawtell)

  • Andrew Martin (Sawtell)

  • Mick Crowle (Mollymook)

  • Adrian Hill (Newport)

  • Jennifer Graves (Dee Why)

  • Anthony Hilliger (Mona Vale)

  • Mark Mackenzie (Dee Why)

  • Ernesto Calderon (Manly)

  • Hamish McLean (Freshwater)

  • Kieran Menzies (Newport)

  • Phil Cole (Cronulla)

  • Michael Hodsdon (Garie)

  • Frank Schreuder (North Cronulla)

  • Tim Mayo (Wanda)


Friday 4 October 2019