Funding boost saves life-saving swim programs

13 Apr 2019 press release

Frontline Surf Life Saving Programs have been secured by a $300,000 joint-funding injection from the state and federal Liberal governments.

The future of community education programs such as Surf Babies & Little Lifesavers, Sea Sure Swim School, Inclusive Beaches and Surf Education programs, had been in doubt after severe storm damage to infrastructure resulted in significant financial losses for Surf Life Saving SA last year (SLSSA).

Once-in-a-decade gale-force winds battered the Adelaide coastline during the Lifesaving World Championships in November resulting in significant out of pocket costs for SLSSA putting the future of their 2019 programs in jeopardy.

Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing, Corey Wingard and federal Liberal member for Boothby Nicolle Flint said the state and coalition governments would each invest $150,000 so that storm damage costs incurred by SLSSA would not put the future of important community programs at risk.

“South Australians are taking up these programs at record rates and we want to be sure that anyone who wants to get out there to learn how to swim, while joining in the fun at a local surf club, can do so,” Minister Wingard said.

“The Federal Government is acutely aware of how important these programs are and the role they play in not only teaching our children water safety, but also encouraging healthy active lifestyles and team work,” Ms Flint said.

“That is why the Federal Coalition Government is committed to supporting grassroots clubs that have such a beneficial impact on local communities.”

Surf Life Saving SA president John Baker said: “The additional support for the event by both the federal and state governments is great news and will ensure there is only a positive legacy for Surf Life Saving Australia.”   

Despite the severe weather, the World Championships drew a record number of athletes, with more than 7,000 participants from 45 nations, and injected about $22 million into the state’s economy.

International Lifesaving Federation President Graham Ford said, “Surf Life Saving SA delivered a fantastic championship and we have had tremendous feedback from the athletes.”

“It’s the reason we returned to Adelaide for a second time and why we are considering a record third trip to SA,” Mr Ford said.