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Trademarking the term 'lifeguard' - 25/6/2011
Last week we learned that Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) think that the term 'lifeguard' (not lifesaver) along with the Royal Life Saving Society Australia is to be their sole property and now part of "SLSA's image and intellectual property" manifesto.
Well while the right to have exclusive ownership of this term fits with with an SLSA organisation administration that believes they are the centre of the universe, fulltime and seasonal career professional lifeguards employed by local government (Councils) for more than a century (who collectively supervise and manage currently over 87% of people who visit Australian beaches each year), together with community observers and other non-SLS organisations such as the Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguard Association (APOLA Inc.), know otherwise.
John Andrews, National Secretary, APOLA Inc.
Should public pools hire lane space to commercial operators? - 9/5/2011
The Australian Leisure Facilities Association (ALFA) is looking for opinions on the matter of hiring of lane space in public facilities to commercial operators.
ALFA is aware that public aquatic, recreation and swimming centres across New South Wales have been receiving increasing numbers of inquiries regarding the hiring of space in public facilities for commercial businesses conducting learn to swim and coaching.
As ALFA Chairman Gary Penfold explains "this comes up as an issue from time to time and raises some interesting points. (I would like) to stimulate debate (on this matter) in the hope and expectation that members and fellow recreation professionals will contribute their own opinions to give a broader perspective.
"In the first instance we must be clear that we are not talking about those pools that make the management decision to tender out their learn-to-swim programs to external contractors.
"This issue relates to those pools that run their own learn-to-swim and coaching programs and find that local swim school operators are making application to rent space to run a competing program in that same pool or facility.
"As managers of local community facilities and all the programs that are run within it, we are responsible for running that facility on behalf of the community. We therefore have an ethical and community responsibility to run that facility in such a way that the total cost to the community is kept to a minimum.
"Learn-to-swim programs are an income source, not only for the facility but the community as a whole. By allowing another operator to come into the facility and compete against a community learn-to-swim program, it is impacting on the potential for the community to generate income to minimise the cost of the facility?"
Penfold adds that bringing "the competition" into a public facility might be like "suggesting to McDonalds that they allow KFC to have three tables in their restaurant" and is very different from those learn-to-swim operators who have their own facility within a community.
Penfold says that such operators "pay their own overhead costs and good luck to them. Someone who is renting a lane to run their business is being heavily subsidised by ratepayers and I for one object to that.
"It is surely not within a Councils role to provide a subsidy to individual businesses."
Gary is welcoming feedback on his views and the opinions of ALFA members. He can be contacted on 0407 919 343, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed by Gary in this item are his own and not those of his employer, Warringah Council.
Targetting those who swim at unpatrolled beaches - 29/01/2010
As a keen reader of your magazine and e-newsletter, I read with interest the comments made by APOLA Secretary, John Andrews in regards to SLSA’s “flawed” rip campaign. The Australian Lifeguard Service is the largest employer of professional lifeguards in Australia and the southern hemisphere, with more than 350 lifeguards covering nearly 100 beaches, on behalf of local councils, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, several resorts and private and community organisations. Personally, I have had 25 years lifesaving and lifeguarding experience as well as helicopter rescue experience. The debate on this continues on our 'Issues in the Leisure Industry' Forum http://leisuremanagement.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general
We support Mr Andrew’s claims that the primary message must be to remain calm and float on your back, signaling for assistance when you’re caught in a rip. What Mr Andrews and his small band of colleagues fails to remember is that all coastal drownings this summer and the vast majority of the many near-drownings are on remote beaches or outside of lifeguard hours. Well research data clearly indicates that most deaths and accidents occur when there is no qualified person present to assist the victim. If one chooses to swim at an unpatrolled location and we chose to only heed the APOLA message, to whom does the poor victim wave to? Who actually sees them get into trouble? The SLSA Rip message appears to be targeted at those who continue to swim on unpatrolled beaches.
Simply, the primary message will always be swim at patrolled beaches, between the red and yellow flags. However, if you find yourself in a rip at an unpatrolled location, the SLSA campaign is “here’s how to get out of it and save yourself”. To me, as a professional in the water safety industry, this makes sense.
Stephen Leahy, State Manager, Australian Lifeguard Service (NSW)
As a keen reader of your magazine and e-newsletter, I read with interest the comments made by APOLA Secretary, John Andrews in regards to SLSA’s “flawed” rip campaign.
The Australian Lifeguard Service is the largest employer of professional lifeguards in Australia and the southern hemisphere, with more than 350 lifeguards covering nearly 100 beaches, on behalf of local councils, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, several resorts and private and community organisations. Personally, I have had 25 years lifesaving and lifeguarding experience as well as helicopter rescue experience.
The debate on this continues on our 'Issues in the Leisure Industry' Forum http://leisuremanagement.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general
Experts reject "flawed" SLSA Rip Campaign - 20/01/2010
In relation to the news item "Surf livesavers urge Beachgoers to play it safe' (published at http://www.ausleisure.com.au/default.asp?PageID=2&Display=True&ReleaseID=1838, 8th January 2010), readers should be aware that despite clear advice from experienced practitioners, leading educators and ocean science experts prior to the Surf Life Saving Australia’s (SLSA) Rip Campaign launch at the beginning of summer and since, SLSA has continued to roll out an expensive mass media campaign that uses non-endorsed advice about how people should to escape from a rip.
SLSA officials have ignored clear advice drop the swim parallel to the beach to escape a rip message that essentially replaces the across-industry agreed primary water safety message about what to do if caught in a rip.
The Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguard Association (APOLA) has repeatedly communicated to SLSA officials that the swim parallel to the beach to escape a rip message is most inappropriate and contradictory to the already industry agreed and widely adopted primary key beach safety messages.
Experienced practitioners, leading educators and ocean science experts are as one in saying that after the number one primary message of swim between the red and yellow flags, the primary message for mass media and general consumption in relation of what to do and if caught in a rip needs to remain as stay calm, float with the current and signal for help.
APOLA and other experienced practitioners, leading educators and ocean science experts have gone on the public record to say that this primary message about rips (stay calm, float with the current and signal for help) must not be relegated nor be now seen as secondary to this new unsupported notion of swim parallel to the beach that uses outward finger pointing Monty Python hands imagery.
The SLSA release of website and print material that states a “primary message” is “to escape a rip swim parallel to the beach” and “most importantly, the message (swim parallel to the beach) gives expert advice on how someone can save their own life if caught in a rip,” has not been withdrawn and so now there is to confusion in the public domain about what the best advice is on what people should do if they are caught in a rip.
The nationally televised prime-time news programs Today Tonight (Channel 7/PRIME) and A Current Affair (Channel 9/NBN) on 26th November 2009 covered opposition to the swim parallel to the beach to escape a rip from surf lifesaving legend and prominent surf educator Craig Riddington, however the SLSA Rip Campaign continues with this non-endorsed message of swim parallel to the beach to escape a rip.
SLSA National Officers responsible for this rip campaign have been called upon to drop the swim parallel to the beach to escape a rip along with the outward finger pointing Monty Python hands imagery despite ongoing calls for this to be dropped by industry leaders and others including numerous SLSA members.
Experienced surfers, lifeguards, volunteer lifesavers and students of ocean science know that the message swim parallel to the beach to escape a rip should not replace the established first advice of stay calm, float with the current and signal for help, and so the question doing the rounds at beaches, BBQs and workplaces (of why have well-paid National SLSA Officials got this rip campaign wrong and proceeded to keep their heads firmly stuck in the sand?) continues to be asked.
John Andrews, National Secretary/Treasurer, Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguard Association Inc. (APOLA)
Fernwood Not Involved - 16/10/2009
Your article entitled 'Risky Exercise' (in the September/October 2009 issue of Australasian Leisure Management) improperly names Fernwood throughout as being party to the proceedings between Belna Pty Ltd and Irwin.
Belna Pty Ltd is not the same as Fernwood, therefore reference to "Fernwood was liable for Irwin's injury", "Fernwood beached its duty of care", "Fernwood sought to rely on these clauses" (and the list goes on) is incorrect. The correct information is Belna Pty Ltd trading as Fernwood Female Fitness in Parramatta. It might suit your needs for brevity to substitute 'Fernwood', but by repeatedly omitting the correct name you imply that Fernwood Women's Heath Clubs Pty Ltd were in some way involved in this case and the outcomes. This is factually incorrect and misleading, and damaging to the good name and reputation of Fernwood Women's Health Clubs.
The entity understood to be 'Fernwood' was not involved in any form whatsoever with these proceedings.
It is incumbent on you to ensure the information in your articles is legally and factually correct, in any case, and no less so than when reporting on a legal matter.
We would like an apology issued in the next edition.
Joanne Bradley, National Marketing & Services Manager, Fernwood Women's Health Clubs (Australia) Pty Ltd
The language used in the article to refer to the proceedings is consistent with the way in which the court judgement is worded in this case, 'Fernwood' being used as a generic description for Belna Pty Ltd trading as Fernwood Women's Health Club Parramatta.
To clarify the matter, Australasian Leisure Management would like to point out that the article 'Risky Exercise' related to a court judgement affecting former Fernwood franchisee Belna Pty Ltd. At the time of incident, Belna Pty Ltd was trading as Fernwood Women's Health Club Parramatta. The judgement did not apply to Fernwood Women's Health Clubs (Australia) Pty Ltd.
Belna Pty Ltd's franchise ended in March 2007.
Exercise better than Smartcards - 18/09/2009
The New Zealand Government is thinking of launching a smartcard to combat obesity, but wouldn’t an exercise incentive be more effective?
Thinking positively I would firstly like to congratulate the Ministry of Health for even considering the incentivizing people to purchase healthy food to combat obesity. This is a good step in the right direction. But I imagine this would only impact people to a minor degree and not have the desired outcome to improve people’s lifestyle habits to reduce obesity.
The ‘smartcard’ system will almost immediately cost the tax-payer money. Wouldn’t it be wiser, especially considering the current economy, to consider smarter options?
What really needs to happen is an aggressive high impact incentive to encourage physical activity and the best way to do this is to reward people directly in the pocket! Importantly for the government, this is simple and no major up-front cost for the tax-payer. Canada has led by example and is already giving a tax-credit for children’s fitness programmes.
Rewarding exercise would have no impact on tax revenue until well into next year. Even then, the reduced tax-take due to more people exercising should be off-set by less sickness and the positive impact of exercise on health. In other words, we should save money on the health budget; particularly if this new idea were marketed correctly to the public.
‘The New Zealand Government Wellness incentive’ – incentivising you to stay well.
Each person would include a receipt in their tax-return for money invested in a physical activity programme (with a registered provider). This could be a credit of up to $500; or whatever is budgeted by the Government to be an achievable amount. The results from an exercise programme will far outweigh some getting smart card savings on a healthy loaf of bread!
Further, research has shown that an exerciser, not wishing to compromise their efforts, is less likely to make poor food choices. When you start feeling good about yourself, you’re less likely to stuff it up!
Often a Government’s answer to solve an issue is to dish out massive amounts of money.
The Government marketed ‘Push Play’ and had TV commercials of an overweight guy hosing his car as exercise. It’s time to give up this ‘bull’ and tell it like it really is. Washing your car once a month isn’t going to impact your health! And the lack of results won’t motivate people. But adopting a Ddaily workout programme for life will!
I believe the answer is instead to go to the root cause. That is, the person making the decision to either sit and play computer games, or to exercise. Motivate them to take action.
The Government needs to stand up front making a strong statement, ‘Exercise is good’, we’re behind you and we’ll reward you for your efforts!
Paul Richards, Club Physical, Auckland
'Dive-In Movies' originated well before Wet'n'Wild - 16/09/2009
It was great to read that the 'Dive-In' Movie concept is continuing to grow in aquatic centres and theme parks all over the world, but I would have to disagree that the concept was "a longtime Australian favourite developed by Wet'n'Wild Water World". (Australasian Leisure Management E-newsletter 16th September 2009).
With great respect to Steve Peet, I can remember back in the late 70's when I was working at the Mt Gambier SA YMCA with my old friend Corry Moors where we ran 'Dive-In' Movies on a regular basis. The Mt Gambier Y had a small pool hall with a 25 metre pool, and as in those days, very little pool deck space and very low ceilings.
Half the fun was actually getting all the 'technical' gear to operate in that environment, which as you could imaging was hot, very humid and with a significant lack of quality air circulation. I clearly remember the 'technical' gear comprising of four white double bed sheets sewn together, with our technical expertise added to allowed the sheets to weighted by a 100mm PVC pipe with weights and lowered to rest on the water. A resulting litmus effect occurred up the sheets to eventually arrive at a tight and taunt screen. This, added to some dubious wiring to speakers on the pool deck, and the whirring of the Bell & Howell 16mm projector regularly overheating!
At least this way we got an interval for the F&B sales, which were a must in trying to break even! Of course the first movie we ran was Jaws, and I seem to remember the second being Cocoon. I do remember though, the great community spirit and family fun the nights generated.
Peter L Fox, Chief Executive, COSMOS Inc.
A Tale of Four Venues
I was very interested to read the article 'A Tale of Three Venues' in the latest (May/June 2009) edition of Australasian Leisure Management.
However, there is a huge omission as far as Perth is concerned, if as the article says at the beginning, "Australia is enjoying "
I refer to the new State Theatre Centre currently being built in Perth by the State Government at a cost of $92 million, not an insignificant sum by any means.
This will house a state of the art main drama theatre of 575 seats, a studio theatre of 230 seats and an outdoor performance space also.
I do think that this justifies an article.
My company AEG Ogden Perth will manage the venue, due to open in 2010, for the Perth Theatre Trust.
Rodney Phillips, Chief Executive, AEG Ogden (Perth) Pty Ltd [Venue Manager for the Perth Theatre Trust Venues] and General Manager of His Majesty's Theatre
More Bang for your Buck: Invest in a Health and Wellbeing Stimulus Package
Despite recession bearing down on us, there are signs that consumers are doing a pretty good job of taking care of their health and fitness.
At the YMCA we’re actually experiencing an increase in patronage at the community health clubs and aquatic facilities we manage in local communities across the state. Overall, there’s more of us hitting the gym, doing group fitness classes, and enrolling our kids in swimming lessons than at the same time last year.
What’s going on? Maybe people are realising that investing in their health and wellness is a helpful response to challenges of a real or imminent nature. Maybe more of us are ‘nesting’ and staying closer to home, and hence to our communities – and our community facilities - where we feel safest and a sense of belonging. Exercising with others, in fact just being with others, is a tried and tested way of improving our physical and mental health, and gives us more ‘bang’ for our buck.
So when your Government bonus lands in your bank account, will you be a saver or a ‘splurger’? If you’re the latter, go on, give your health and wellbeing a real stimulus. Join a gym, buy a bike, get some hiking boots or running gear for the family, or take up that activity you’ve always wanted to try – preferably with someone.
Keep it up and you’ll be in a better state of mind to deal with whatever the Global Financial Crisis, or just everyday life throws at us.
Peter Burns, Chief Executive, YMCA Victoria
No Grassroots contributes to the decline of Chinese football
Football in China is dead and the lack of a grassroots base is hampering the chances of a quick revival, according to the author of a new book about the world's favourite sport in its most populous country.
China first victory in their Asian qualifying group for the 2010 World Cup against Australia on Sunday was too little, too late and they now have no chance of appearing at international soccer's top table until 2014.
Rowan Simons, whose book ‘Bamboo Goalposts’ was published in May this year, believes that only widespread reform of the whole footballing structure in China can save it.
"It's dead, in my view, it's never had a life," the 41-year-old Briton said in an interview.
"It's always been about the elite, you can do that with minor sports but not football... unless something is done soon, it'll be the end of football in China altogether."
Simons arrived in China in 1987 and has remained for much of the last 21 years, enjoying fame as a football commentator for Beijing TV and running a couple of media companies as well as China Club Football.
At the end of the 1990, he witnessed China's football boom and was also around when it petered out after China's sole appearance to date at the World Cup finals in 2002.
"For a couple years it looked like China might become a footballing power but, with hindsight, it's easy to say why that wasn't real, because there's no grassroots, there's no pyramid," he said.
"Corruption became an issue ... with referees getting large bundles of cash and then being replenished at halftime to make sure the second half went the same," he added.
Simons thought about how to save the game he loved in the country he now considered his home and decided they needed to go back to an era that was "clean and pure".
Using the model of local clubs that are the backbone of sport in Britain and Australia, Simons and his partners came up with China Club Football. Like everything else in China, running an amateur football club would require official permission.
"I don't think they understood what we were trying to do because it's an elitist system in China and the Chinese Football Association (CFA) doesn't have amateur football in its remit," he said.
"In their thinking this was stupid, 'Why would you get involved with football for people who will never be any good at it?' They said 'you're mad but go ahead'."
The club now has 60,000 members with more than 100 teams playing weekly five-a-side competitions.
"It's a mission, the goal is to have the largest amateur football network in the world."
Simons points out that in FIFA's "Big Count" in 2006, China had only 708,754 amateur and youth players from a population of 1.3 billion compared to 738,800 from 41 million in England.
"If China could get to the same level of participation as England, that's an extra 40 million players," he said. "It can happen really quickly if there's political change."
Simons was hoping August's Beijing Olympics would be a catalyst for that change and that his book would be part of the conversation that preceded it.
"I wrote it for China, I wrote it for Chinese people and the Chinese government but it doesn't look now like it will be published in China before the Games," he said.
The Chinese system is not only bad for the game, Simons feels, but also contravenes FIFA's rules on government interference in the game.
"Give China a bit of time, five years let's say, and if they don't get the government out of football, they should be banned from international competition," he said.
"How can China still be a member of FIFA when the CFA is a government-controlled body and there are no elections to it at all?"
Simons believes there is a "massive groundswell" of support for reform.
"People feel disenfranchised, they feel angry at the way football is being treated and the way the national team always fails," he said. "When will China be mature enough to allow people to organise their own football matches?"
Nick Mulvenney, REUTERS. Editing by John O'Brien.
The behavioural patterns indicated in the article on child drownings in Asia in the March/April 2008 of Australasian Leisure Management, are similarly represented in New Zealand. However, the drowning issue is not as prevalent among children of school age versus under five or over 18 years.
7% of all drowning deaths in New Zealand occur in the 0-4 years age group, this was as high as 10% in 2007. This figure drops in children aged 5-14 years to 5% but as low as 3% for 2006 and 2007. Although children are more independent through natural development, socialisation in New Zealand and to a certain extent the climate limits interaction with the water to a defined 'summer' period.
The concerning age groups for drowning in New Zealand are those from 15-24 years (17%), 25-34 years (14%), 35-44 years (17%) and 45-54 years (14%)1. Clearly discernable as contributing factors to drowning is the evidence of material acquisition and participation in aquatic activities that correlate with increasing age. For example, swimming, diving and jumping drowning deaths are most common in the 15-24 years age grouping, whereas fishing (land based and boating), boating and underwater related drowning incidents begin to present later in the life cycle from 35 years of age and upward.
The pleasing matter to arise from the research is the positive appraisal for 'learn to swim' as a major factor in reducing the incidence of drowning.
Matt Claridge, General Manager, Water Safety New Zealand
Not Just Aquatics
I note in the November/December 2007 edition of Australasian Leisure Management you published a news item 'One body for the Aquatic Industry?' citing the discussions that have commenced regarding a national body for the aquatics industry.
This needs to be corrected to state that the news national body will be for both the aquatic and recreation industry.
The notion that a new body becomes a body for the aquatic industry only has been the main sticking point in discussions with other peak aquatic groups and associations. I am proud to be part of a group working on a national industry association to establish direction and a future for the aquatic and recreation industry as a whole.
Peter Fox, Chief Executive, COSMOS Recreation Services Inc.
More details on this initiative will feature in upcoming issues of Australasian Leisure Management.
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