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Surfing New Zealand releases new strategic plan

Billy Stairmand © PhotoCPL



Industry Updates

Surfing New Zealand releases strategic plan for 2015 - 2017

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 19 February, 2015 - Surfing New Zealand has released its new strategic plan that is set to guide the national sporting organisation through until the end of 2017.

The three year plan highlights key focus areas of sport business, sport development, and high performance sport with clear priorities and strategic outcomes that are aligned with the organisation’s core values.

The plan details the broadening of services provided to the surfing community.  Increasing emphasis is put on initiatives such as the award winning learn to surf programme delivered to young Kiwis around New Zealand. 

The plan also emphasises education courses that provide coaches, sports officials and volunteers with the appropriate skills to develop all surfers from beginner to advanced.  These initiatives are added to the delivery of world class events and the promotion of our top athletes.

The plan has been released on the back of a bright start to summer with a fantastic National Championships held at Piha Beach, Auckland.  That event was followed by the start of the New Zealand Grommet Series which has seen unprecedented participation numbers and the first ever Ultimate Waterman, featuring the world’s best waterman is only one month away.

New Zealand’s elite surfers have been performing well overseas with Paige Hareb finishing runner up at her first event of the year while Richard Christie is about to embark on his first year on the World Surf League Tour competing against the top 32 surfers in the world.

Surfing New Zealand President Chris Fougere says his team is looking forward to working through this plan and achieving the highly measurable goals that it contains.

“The plan is about building a collaborative system where surfing stakeholders nationwide work together to deliver the strategic initiatives.  The entire surfing community has a part to play in achieving our goals and by working together we are positive that we can build a better future for the surfing community and our athletes,” Fougere added.

The plan is well balanced focussing not only on our elite athletes as the face of the sport but also a strong events programme from youth events through to international competitions.

As the sport of surfing and Surfing New Zealand continues to grow, an important element to the new plan is the focus on education, learn to surf programmes and innovative initiatives that promote surfing as a healthy fun filled activity that spans generations. 

The initiatives all fit the strategic plan vision – Enriching Kiwi lives through the positive development and enjoyment of surfing.

The plan has five core values – enjoyment, respect, passion, innovation and commitment. 

Not only do these values underpin a strong sporting organisation but they also relate to surfing as a sport and what it encapsulates.  Enjoyment of the ocean, respect for the ocean, the passion surfers have for the sport, the innovation that is required to succeed and the commitment to paddle into waves and challenge yourself.

“We believe that we have a great team behind Surfing New Zealand and we are confident that we can benefit from a number of strong foundations that are already in place” added Fougere.

Just this week, Surfing New Zealand board member and International Surfing Association Vice President Barbara Kendall was honoured with the Leadership Award at the Halberg Awards.  She was also inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame for her achievements in boardsailing. 

Notably the disabilities surfing programme run by Halberg Trust in conjunction with Surfing New Zealand was a feature of the Halberg Awards and showcased some of the amazing work the surfing community have been achieving.  

Barbara Kendall is one of seven current Surfing New Zealand board members and contributed significantly to the development of the plan.

“Having Barbara Kendall on our board has been extremely positive for the sport,” said Surfing New Zealand CEO Greg Townsend.

“Barbara not only has excellent sport governance and leadership skills but she has also been a top level athlete and understands what is required to be a successful” Townsend added.

The strategic plan was developed via an extensive consultation process.  The surfing community was surveyed to identify key expectations and strategic themes.  The broad direction of the plan was then distributed to boardrider clubs for feedback and posted online for robust discussion. 

Strategic initiatives and measures were then added to each goal before the plan was reviewed by independent professionals before being finalised for publishing.

Ben Kennings

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