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Executive Officer Update

Welcome to the EO's report for April.

2017 Conference Report

Early this month Recreation SA successfully coordinated the 2017 SA Recreation, Parks and Leisure Conference at the Campbelltown Aquatics and Recreation Centre (ARC). More than 150 delegates, presenters and trade exhibitors attended and it was pleasing to see the event well-supported across our range of member organisations. The conference is SA's leading professional development opportunity for people working in the recreation sector and we're proud to offer discounted registration to our valued members. The event was jointly organised between Recreation SA and PLA (SA/NT) - I must say it was a great experience working with John Wilkinson and Cathy D’Aloia from PLA. Our two organisations worked extremely well in the many months of preparation required and we hope our delegates and trade exhibitors were able to achieve their expected outcomes. I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Heather Kennett who was the key event manager from Recreation SA for constructing a high quality program of guest speakers and presenters and overseeing a successful day. Congratulations to our 2017 Award winners and all the nominees who were highlighted at the Awards Breakfast which kick-started the Conference. Thanks to Mark Aiston, Brenton Ragless, and Jane Woodlands-Thompson who helped make the Awards a high quality event. All great events are reliant on the staff and volunteers, so I would like to acknowledge my appreciation for the Recreation SA staff and Board who helped out on the day and to Recreation SA Life Member Peter Vandepeer and Alyssa Saunders for volunteering to support the event.

Aquatics

As the summer Aquatics season comes to a close we reflect on a period that has been hectic but successful, and thankfully fatally free at our public swimming pools. We are pleased to report this season the number of Watch Around Water centres has again increased, with more than 60 pools registered in 16/17 to Australia's leading national water safety and supervision program. We were able to once secure Clubs SA and Nine Adelaide as major supporters of the program and are grateful for their commitment to keeping the community safe when recreating at SA public swimming pools. This program is one of the major initiatives Recreation SA oversees to assist aquatics facilities in their quest for providing a safe environment for all to enjoy. Another major initiative is the SA Code of Practice for Public Swimming Pools, which was introduced at the start of the summer season in September. Recreation SA is now seeking feedback on its content as we look to improve on this document and explore ways to assist the aquatics industry in reaching the level of standards outlined in the document. Look out for a networking event to be hosted by Recreation SA in the coming months - I look forward to seeing you there. More details about this event will be released soon by Pania, the Aquatics Project Officer.

Trails and Outdoors

Recreation SA has successfully launched the re-developed Trails SA website at the 2017 Conference and will now begin increasing our marketing via Facebook and Instagram, to ensure we build on an already strong following. With a workshop recently run by our new Trails Project Manager, Anthony Bates, Recreation SA is constructing a summary of key priorities and activities based on information from the 2015 Trails Master Plan and feedback from workshop attendees (which included representatives from DEWNR, Forestry SA, SA Local Government, SA Water, Trails user groups and ORS). Our overarching aim is to assist the Trails sector to ensure the SA Trails network is a well-recognised and well-used recreational asset for all South Australians and our visitors. There are a range of organisations that are involved in the supply and delivery of the trails experience and our aim is to assist collaboration and co-operation wherever possible to ensure we minimise duplicity and maximise outcomes for all involved. The trails are fast becoming a recreational jewel in the crown for SA.

Leadership and Advocacy

As I have mentioned previously, this area is a high priority for the board and myself, in order to deliver better outcomes for you, our valued members, and the sector as a whole. This is a particularly timely focus with an election year fast approaching. There are a number of issues we are considering which may form a key part of our advocacy strategy, such as advocating for:

  • Government to increase their focus on active recreation and ensure that it is top of mind in all funding and policy decisions;
  • Access to land surrounding reservoirs and use of reservoirs for aquatic activities such as canoeing and kayaking;
  • Ensuring the number of aquatic facilities available, both regionally and locally, is never reduced;
  • Continued opportunities for all to learn to swim and recreate within aquatic facilities as aquatic recreation is a key part of life in SA; and
  • Support the successful establishment of a national standard for outdoor adventure activities and a successful review of the Outdoor recreation training package.

Whilst we have canvassed our members and also requested our sector committees to provide feedback, we are always open to suggestions on major issues you would like us to be showing leadership and advocating for. Please contact me on 0418 814 867 or email me to discuss or provide any suggestions. There are also a range of actions we are undertaking behind the scenes to lead projects that will help provide support to the recreation industry, many of which will be discussed at our board strategy session being held on 15 May.

In closing, I would like to thank Jenny Borlase for her valuable contribution to Recreation SA, and the sectors she served, during her three years working at the organisation. Jenny, who liaised with and advocated for the Fitness and Community Recreation sectors, has departed the organisation to take up a role as Head Coach Netball, at the South Australian Sports Institute. She played a key role in increasing the profile of Recreation SA in the Fitness sector, through the delivery of the Fitness Professional Network Series, and launching the Inclusive Recreation project, which aims to assist our Community Recreation members and patrons. On behalf of the Board and staff at Recreation SA, I thank her for her efforts and wish her all the best in new role, where I am confident her leadership skills will benefit the up-and-coming netballers of the state.

Thank you for your continued support and membership.

Nick Takos Executive Officer

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