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New swim school peak industry body formed

A new swim school industry peak body has been formed, the Australian Swim Schools Association (ASSA).

ASSA has employed Ross Gage as CEO. Gage’s company Aussie Aquatics had handled the management of Swim Australia, part of the Australian Swim Coaches & Teachers Association (ASCTA) from 1998 until December last year.

ASCTA is transitioning to an improved integrated business model and its Swim Australia division has now returned to direct management by ASCTA.

The separation of Aussie Aquatics and Swim Australia had a few hiccups, with the Federal Court of Australia sorting out some of the finer points to do with intellectual property and other issues.

Gage says that it had become apparent that the swim school sector of the industry had evolved to the point where it needed its own, solely swim-school-focused peak industry body.

Its first major event will be to assist with the International SwimDisability Conference at SPLASH! on the Gold Coast.

Directors and goals

The voluntary establishment directors of ASSA are Dave Urquhart, Bev Christmass, John Coutts, Julia Ham, Reece Rackley, Shawn Read, Bruce Sullivan and Wayne Pollock.

President of ASSA, Dave Urquhart, says that this is an A-Team of all highly respected industry leaders bringing a wide range of expertise and top quality experience to the table.

“Collectively, they cover private and public enterprises of varying sizes, both single and multiple sites, family as well as corporate based and include ‘outside’ expertise as well,” he says.

ASSA states its mission is to drive and evolve the swim school industry towards a uniform standard of world’s best practice. This will be primarily achieved through the delivery of international leading guidelines, professional development programs, growth opportunities and business support.

CEO Ross Gage says this will lead to an ever-increasing number of Australians enjoying a first-class educational and holistically enriching experience, resulting in a nation of safer, lifelong swimmers.

He says that they only started taking memberships from July this year, and already more than 120 swim schools have signed up.

“We are confident we will have more than 500 schools in our broader network with the first year of operation,” he says.

“Part of the reason for the successful take-up is that we are offering tiered memberships and various payment options, making it easier for the smaller businesses to come on board.”

The first major event they will be involved in is the International SwimDisability Conference at SPLASH! on the Gold Coast.

The first ASSA national conference will also be held during SPLASH!, starting on August 15 to August 17.

Written by Chris Maher for Splash Magazine on 2 August 2016 and used with permission from ASSA. 


 

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