Australian Canoeing Strategic Forum 2011: Day 2

The first session of Day Two of Australian Canoeing’s (AC) 2011 Strategic Forum shared good practice from state organisations.
Ian Heard of Canoe South Australia (CSA) reported on a Board performance enhancement process underway. CSA held a Strategic Forum in August this year. I liked Ian’s summary of the Forum as “fun and fellowship”. He pointed to five pillars of CSA strategic planning: governance, financial management, education, training and safety, high performance, community development and participation.
A number of priorities arose from the CSA Forum were itemised by Ian. These included re-invigorating the Education and Safety Committee. CSA has made a determined effort to engage with assessors and assure the uniformity, integrity and credibility of courses. Ian concluded his presentation with a discussion of CSA’s talent identification program and the Team Paddle Challenge and noted the role volunteers play in running these programs.
Andrea McQuitty talked about work undertaken by Canoe Tasmania (CT) in the last year. She discussed the delivery of relevant and current services to the Tasmanian paddling community. I really enjoyed Andrea’s discussion of CT’s role in proving services to paddlers in their pathways through the sport. I liked the idea of celebrating and supporting diversity. I liked too the idea of an agile state organisation that can meet continuing and changing needs. CT’s current activities build on a long-term (30 year) record of providing courses and paddling experiences. CT Presentation
Sharon Swoboda of Canoe Victoria (CV) reported on CV’s year. Her first points were about the Strategic Forum and the development of a new strategic plan plan with a ten-year vision. A Recreation Forum was held after the Strategic Forum to address a different membership group. A club forum was held at CV’s AGM. All work this year has focussed on pathways for all membership groups (paddlers, volunteers, officials, coaches) to identify and support their goals. CV are seeking government support for multi-sport venue in Melbourne. Other initiatives this year have included a focus on junior participation (using the British Canoe Union’s Paddlepower model) and joining the Australian Sports Commission’s After Active School Communities. Sharon concluded her talk with a discussion of the success of a major initiative: a sustainable participation opportunity for indigenous paddlers. The program includes basic skill instruction and opportunities to become instructors and guides.
Sarah Aulin from Canoeing Western Australia (CWA) presented her report of last year’s work. She discussed the drive to become a relevant state organisation for WA members. 1000 schoolchildren were involved in CWA’s Paddle Academy last year. This creates an important opportunity to transform participation into engagement. Sarah discussed the Avon descent, Paracanoeing initiatives and talent identification. CWA are developing inclusive strategies. Sarah concluded her talk with news of  Ocean Safe Paddling Be Safe launch.
Tony Hystek presented information about PaddleNSW‘s year. He noted membership numbers and the growth of open water clubs. He reported on a drive to develop an Open Water coaching award. He pointed to issues with sprint clubs and the drift of junior athletes to talent identification clubs. He signalled a disappearing volunteer structure for sprint canoeing. PaddleNSW has worked to develop a Paddle Australia program. NSW Maritime is now involved with PaddleNSW in the development of a start paddling, safe paddling DVD (20 minute). Tony will share the script with state organisations to ensure any state variations are included.
The morning’s presentation was concluded with Paul Pascoe’s Presentation on information technology.


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