Recreational Surfing Assn. launches to give voice to the rest of us
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 23 January, 2014 - The Recreational Surfing Association, a new voice for the recreational surfer who loves surfing for the sheer fun of it and embracing the beach and surf lifestyle population on a National and International scale, has formed.
Co-organizers of last Sundays successful North Kirra Beach Rally attracting a crowd of 3,500 and convincing the Qld State Government to overrule on a developers proposal on public beachfront land will use those concerns of the public to launch a new association to be known as: RSA - Recreational Surfing Association.
Save Our Southern Beaches Alliance Chairman, Jim Wilson, and secretary, Andrew McKinnon, will establish a new surfing awareness movement on the Gold Coast but via the social media network will extend its membership to a worldwide audience with one common goal to protect our beach and surf amenity and give those people a voice who surf for the love of it.
Wilson, a former manager of Connecting Southern Gold Coast, and McKinnon a former World Longboard Champion and well known Gold Coast beach and surf reporter, are currently working in with National Surf Reserve (NSR) and World Surfing Reserve (WSR) committee’s and various stakeholders to form a new Gold Coast WSR Committee to formulate a plan for a World Surfing Reserve of the Gold Coast Coastal Strip from South Straddie to Coolangatta.
The LSC (Local Stewardship Committee) will then present a complete case study and report to State and Local Government for gazetting. This initiative was born out of the success of the North Kirra Rally which helped defeat a developer’s proposal on public beachfront land.
However, they (McKinnon & Wilson), believe that a whole new organization is needed that speaks for the recreational surfer who makes up 95% of the surfing population and that will provide true representation of the ever expanding and popular beach and surf lifestyle.
“Today is an exciting day for participants from all walks of life and of all ages, creed, race and colour, who engage in recreational surfing in Australia and the World,”said inaugural Chairman of Recreational Surfing Association, Jim Wilson. Wilson also added, “recreational surfing includes all genders and ages who ‘go to the beach’ to surf for the fun of it, body surfing, shortboards, kneeboards, longboards, bodyboards, stand-up paddle boards, paddle boards, kayaks, surf ski’s and all manner of surf craft available to them.”
Wilson further elaborated that this will be a new inclusive and truly connected representative body to be called “Recreational Surfing Association” and has been created to represent all these stakeholders in the wonderful past-time of recreational surfing, which is an iconic part of Australia’s beach culture and numbers well over a million participants let alone the Global reach.
The inaugural Chairman of RSA, Jim Wilson said, “RSA intends to be a representative body for all people, young or old, who utilise Australia’s foreshore parks, beaches and surf for pleasure, rest and enjoy physical activity of any kind, and on any craft. Given the explosion in use of surf beaches and foreshores in the recent past, and the perennial threats to this from development and climate change, it is imperative that these stakeholders have a forum in which they can express their ideas, preferences, concerns and solutions for the future of this ever expanding coastal lifestyle.”
“To date, surfing has tended to organise its representativeness around either the competitive or professional elite elements of surfing, which is understandable and commendable. What RSA would like to do, is to complement these groups with the community voice of the recreational user of our surf beaches, who collectively represent the vast majority of beach and surf users across the country annually.” Mr Wilson said.
Mr Wilson explained further, “In all States of Australia, largely, the environment underpins the economy. It is no different for our beaches and surf where, uniquely in the World, they clearly represent the biggest form of eco-tourism available in this country, whether the economic rewards are generated by locals, or visitors from wherever, including overseas. We intend that our tourists will be treated as stakeholders in our organisation and will be listened to, for mutual eco-tourism benefit.”
The inaugural Secretary of RSA, Mr Andrew McKinnon, commented that, “RSA aims to depoliticise, democratise, and bring truth to decisions at every level of Government about surfing’s present and future recreational experience for all people.
Based on the Gold Coast which is the epicentre of surfing, Industry giants, World Champions and thousands of day to day dedicated surfers and self- confessed beach lovers, RSA will embrace ‘from the grass roots ground up’ an umbrella organisation, giving recreational surfing participants a true voice, as consumers, users and protectors of the wonderful foreshore, beach and ocean assets of our irreplaceable coastline. Our new organization will breathe new life into our wonderful lifestyle that has a huge demographic of the wide populace who just love surfing for the pure simple fun of it. ”
“We intend that RSA will have a wide membership in each State and be strongly placed to put forward sound positions to all levels of Government on a wide range of issues to look after our surf beach amenity and continue to share the love and fun of this irresistible lifestyle. At the same time we will encourage and engage International participation for the many tourists who visit our shores on a daily basis.” Mr McKinnon said.
Mr McKinnon said further information will be released in the not too distant future about the intended membership, governance and operations of RSA.