Surfing Australia Building A Platform For Future Success

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Surfing Australia announced today two important initiatives that will see the building expansion of the Hurley Surfing Australia High Performance Centre (HPC) and the launch of the organisation’s exciting new broadcast future.

Funded by the Federal Government and officially opened in June last year, the $4m HPC at Casuarina in northern NSW is the world’s first facility dedicated to the development of elite surfers and coaches.

The two-level centre of excellence boasts state of the art education facilities, equipment and accommodation and is at the forefront of sports science and coaching development for surfing.

Since its opening more than 1000 people have attended camps and programs at the HPC conducted by Surfing Australia’s high performance coaching team.

Today’s announcement of further Federal Government funding of $350,000 will allow for the construction of a new dedicated sport research centre on the second level of the HPC. It will also include athlete testing and treatment facilities.

Minister for Sport, Senator Don Farrell, said he was delighted to announce the new funding for the Centre, which will help ensure that Australia maintains its place as a world leader in the sport of surfing.

"We have a rich history of surfing success in this country and the Australian Government is proud to support this important facility in the regional community of Casuarina Beach," Senator Farrell said.  "Surfing Australia is to be commended for its commitment to developing the next generation of elite surfers."

Construction is due to commence 1st August and the new facilities will be ready by November in time for summer.

The Federal Government will also be backing Surfing Australia with funding of $250,000 as it embarks on an exciting new development into the rapidly growing area of digital content and online broadcasting.

Working with global content experts Brand New Media, Surfing Australia will be building a new IPTV Channel known as MySurf.tv. The online surfing channel will allow viewers to access fresh, high quality surfing content on any device.

 “We realised last year that as a sport our online assets were too fragmented and we were not making the most of our digital footprint,” said Surfing Australia CEO Andrew Stark. “Research and compelling consumer trends indicate that the time is right to launch into a new digital focussed audience engagement strategy.

“For Surfing Australia the timing is right to push ahead with this project. We’d like to think that we can be a pioneering sport in this space by staying ahead of the curve and hopefully this will provide an example to other relative sports of what is possible. Not every sport can secure the big broadcast deals that the major football codes are attracting these days so we need to look at innovative ways to commercialise our content.”

Surfing Australia has worked closely with the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) over the past three years to look at ways to commercialise their business. This new digital strategy is the next project in a successful relationship that has seen the birth of other surfing programs such as the VEGEMITE SurfGroms program for 5-12 year olds and the Australian Boardriders Battle, a national club surfing series that will launch next month.

Improving the digital capacity of National Sporting Organisations is seen as critical to the future of Australian sport and has been an area that has been supported by the Australian Government, through the Australia Sports Commission. With the National Broadband Network also still high on the government agenda, Surfing Australia has seized on the opportunity to grow their media distribution capabilities.

Minister Assisting for Innovation, Industry and the Digital Economy, Senator Kate Lundy said Surfing Australia would be connecting with new generations of young Australians in new and innovative ways.

“I’m proud to be part of a Government that is supporting Surfing Australia as it embraces the digital age with its MySurf.tv channel,” Senator Lundy said.

“Through this project, Surfing Australia will be able to reach their fans no matter where they are and inspire a new generation of surfers.”

Perry Smith, CEO of Brand New Media (BNM), said: “We are extremely proud and excited to be building on our partnership with Surfing Australia to create Australian sport’s most innovative digital strategy and turn the brand into a broadcaster by delivering Surfing Australia content and communications to all devices, anytime and anywhere.

“Through our Channelplay platform we will deliver SA’s MySurf.tv, a dedicated surfing channel that will centralise the organisations marketing communications and supercharge current and new digital content assets.”

To service the demand for content that will be created by MySurf.tv, Surfing Australia have employed two new staff in the area of digital content creation. Nimai Strickland and Lachlan McKinnon have now joined the Surfing Australia media department and bring with them a wealth of experience in producing quality surfing content. Nimai Strickland has spent the last five years in the AV department of surf brand Billabong, while Lachlan McKinnon joins Surfing Australia from a stint with Oakley.

MySurf.tv is scheduled to launch in time for summer at the end of November 2013.

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Dignitaries at today's launch

Design of the new extensions at the Hurley Surfing Australia HPC

Design of the new extensions at the Hurley Surfing Australia HPC

Federal Government Minister Kate Lundy, Chelsea Hedges and Bede Durbidge

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