Surfing Queensland Community Fund

THE SURFING QUEENSLAND COMMUNITY FUND

The Surfing Queensland Community Fund exists to support vulnerable and at-risk Queenslanders through the sport of surfing. It endeavours to make surfing accessible for all members of the community and make a tangible difference to the outcomes for surfing, its participants and athletes.

The Surfing Queensland Community Fund enables long-time surfers and those passionate about the sport to donate. These funds will be directed to create and fund life-changing surfing programs and projects.

These programs are aimed at supporting vulnerable Queenslanders, including but not limited to:

– People with disabilities – impaired intellectual or physical functioning

– People from low socio-economic backgrounds

– People who are Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander

– At-risk community members

Sport can contribute to community identity and serve as a focal point for engagement, pride and achievement. The diversity of sports and sporting achievements (including social sport and physical recreation) makes an ideal medium to reach men and women from every age-group, culture and socio-economic background (2013 House of Representatives report: Sport – More Than Just A Game). 

SURFING FOR SOCIAL CHANGE

Surfing is widely recognised as part of Australia’s social and cultural fabric. More than 85% of Australia’s population live within 50km of our coastline. In Queensland alone, more than 100,000 people surf on a regular basis.

Surfing is often thought of as a pursuit reserved only for youth, however, this is a common misconception. Surfing is a ‘for life’ sport, meaning that individuals generally participate in surfing for as long as they are able.

THE BENEFITS OF SURFING

– Community and social inclusion

– Physical health, mental health and wellbeing

– Water safety

Many studies have proven that the benefits of surfing play a significant role in enhancing mental and physical health. So much so, that the International Surf Therapy Organisation was founded to create a global resource platform for surfing and mental health.

HOW THE COMMUNITY FUND HELPS

Although it may seem that surfing is accessible for everyone, this isn’t the case. For many vulnerable members of society, surf safety and access to equipment is not something that is available to them.

The Surfing Queensland Community Fund creates programs to enable a broader connection between members of the community and access to surfing which will positively impact mental and physical health and inclusiveness. 

COMMUNITY FUND PROGRAMS 2021

JALLUM JARJUMS ‘FISH KIDS’ PROGRAM

Jallum Jarjums is a surfing program designed for indigenous youth. The program aims to:

– Preserve and support indigenous culture.

– Provide education and employment – Level 1 coaching accreditation and ongoing employment opportunities through Surfing Queensland affiliated surf schools.

– Foster healthy lives through the programs participation initiatives.

– Engage with 120 participants throughout the four-day program.

– Provide a commitment to employment ready training for six individuals.

SURFERS RESCUE 24/7

Furthermore, surfers play a vital role in protecting the lives of ocean goers as they often present as first responders in emergency situations. Armed with an intrinsic knowledge of the ocean as well as possessing a personal flotation device, surfers form a frontline defence against drowning related deaths as demonstrated by a study from Anna Attard, School
of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UNSW Australia.

The Surfers Rescue 24/7 program is designed to train recreational surfers in surf rescue and CPR techniques to arm them with the skills required to save lives on Queensland beaches. Additionally, the program will partner with local universities to undertake further studies into the role that surfers play in saving lives. The program aims to:

– Provide skills and technique training as well as CPR training to 1,500 recreational surfers to utilise recreational surfing equipment in emergency situations.

– Sample 1,000 participants in a survey to ascertain the frequency of which recreational surfers are performing rescues.

– Develop a reporting platform designed to track rescues by recreational surfers.

SUPPORTING VULNERABLE QUEENSLANDERS THROUGH SURFING

The 7 Pillars to Diversity and Inclusion in Sport developed by Play by the Rules and Sport Australia, states that sport is a great way to show how diverse and inclusive we are as a nation. At present, indigenous participation in sport is 30% and people with a disability only 23%. The Surfing Queensland Community Fund aims to support surfing programs that
contribute to making the sport accessible and inclusive for more community members.

THE SURFING QUEENSLAND COMMUNITY FUND IMPACT IN 2021

At Risk Community Members

Throughout 2018-19, 21 drownings occurred on Queensland beaches, with a large proportion of drownings occurring in the state’s south east corridor, comprising the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. These areas represent arguably the highest concentration of recreational surfers in Australia. Seven deaths occurred outside of Surf Life Saving Queensland patrol hours and 12 occurred less than 500m from a patrol service. The Surfers Rescue 24/7 program will drive impact through providing experienced surfers with the practical knowledge and confidence to perform rescues in emergency situations and drive a cultural change by empowering recreational surfers to embrace the notion of being saviours in our ocean.

Ultimately, this cultural change and transfer of knowledge will lead to a greater prevention of drownings on Queensland beaches.

Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander Community Members

Indigenous Surfers represent just 1.8% of the overall surfing population (Ausplay Report, Australian Sports Commission). The Fish Kids Program contributes to close the gap targets in areas such as health, education and employment. The program will provide a participation outcome within a sport which has numerous health benefits and will partner with established Indigenous agencies such as the Clontarf Foundation to provide access to employment ready training for their members.

HELP US MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Donate to the Surfing Queensland Community Fund and support vulnerable members of the community through the sport of surfing.

Your donation can be made through the Australian Sports Foundation and you will receive a tax-deductible gift receipt.