Surfing Victoria is proud to launch the Surf Her Way Women & Girls Strategy to guide the creation of a more diverse and inclusive surf culture and community in Victoria and to achieve greater equality in and out of the water.
The strategy has been developed by an advisory group including Surfing Victoria Chair Ashleigh Wall, Surfing Victoria Board Member Kate Sullivan, Rip Curl GM Brooke Farris, VicSport Participation Strategy Manager Tom Dixon, Surfing Victoria CEO Adam Robertson, VicHealth Senior Project Officer Shelley White, Wadawurrung Traditional Elder Corrina Eccles and others.
The group’s aim was to gather insights and experiences from key stakeholders and individuals within the surf industry and Victorian surf community to develop a strategy that guides Surfing Victoria to foster a more inclusive surfing community across the entire state.
“Surfing Victoria is committed to providing more opportunities for women and girls through surfing, and to empower them with skills and confidence that can transfer to other domains” said Surfing Victoria Chair Ashleigh Wall.
“The dedicated strategy provides the platform to grow and retain the number of women and girls participating in surfing at all levels and holding positions of leadership in the industry.”
Key focus areas for the strategy are:
EQUALITY – To genuinely commit to achieving gender equality across surfing, and to build a platform to foster an inclusive and respectful environment.
GROWTH AND RETENTION – To grow the number of women and girls in surfing and retain as many women and girls in surfing as possible.
LEADERSHIP – To be empowering, accessible and inclusive of all Women and Girls, encouraging social networks and connections.
Surfing Victoria has been a leader in the promotion of women and girl’s surfing for the past two decades including the creation of women’s specific surf program: Roxy Surf Jam (National) and Surfing for Girls (Statewide) from 2000 until 2017 teaching surf and safety skills to young women. The Women’s Surf Festival on Phillip Islands was the first event of its kind, with amateur divisions to the elite level coming together for a true festival of surf. More recently Surfing Victoria has developed COASTING, a Stand Up Paddleboarding program aimed at women and teens.
Surfing Victoria also achieved gender equity on the board in 2019 (current board composition 50% Women, 50% Men) along with electing its first ever female Chair in 2018, Ashleigh Wall.
“Through the past two decades we have been committed to women’s surfing through many programs and initiatives. However as always, more can still be done” said Surfing Victoria CEO Adam Robertson.
“The advisory group has done some incredible work over the past 10 months and we are looking forward to bringing the strategy to life.”
Over the coming 12 months, the Surfing Victoria team will deliver on the strategy through the creation of the Surf Her Way brand, expand the existing Coasting SUP program to include Surfing with the support of VicHealth, deliver female specific coaching sessions for recreational surfers and develop a framework for Boardriders Clubs and Surf & SUP schools to be leaders in equality through surfing.
The full Surf Her Way Women & Girls Strategy can be found at www.surfingvic.com
Victorians are being urged to take extra care around water this summer, with Life Saving Victoria (LSV) concerned a number of trends in the latest drowning figures could be exacerbated by a lack of preparedness for water activities over the warmer months.