Board Update - June 2016
Post March 11th June Board Meeting – Sydney, NSW
1. Squash Australia - Organisation Contact points
As a result of the recent restructure we have now received corresponding State representatives for the core work streams. For any issue relating to any work stream area please contact the corresponding responsible person (please see below);
Jordan Till - [email protected]
Zac Alexander - [email protected]
Ross Solly (Media Consultant) - [email protected]
2. Budget News
With the new financial year starting we will shortly be able to provide a budget review for the States on next year’s funding avenues. We have been waiting on our own funding amounts. Unfortunately all sports have received a 10% funding decrease from the ASC, this was around $53,000 for Squash Australia, this brings our funding cuts to a total of $1,000,000 cut over the past 5 years. Obviously this has had a huge impact on funds available for Squash Australia to develop the game and has increased the need to generate commercial income, hence the additions of an eShop, fundraising campaign and drive for external sponsorship.
Once we have budgeted departments and programmes we will notify the States of funding incentives (funding direct from Squash Australia to the States) starting July 1st.
3. World Doubles Championships 2018
Squash Australia would like to host the 2018 World Doubles Championships which would be the first week of January 2018. We are opening tender submissions for the event.
While the event would be a Squash Australia event, we would like to find a local partner to put on a great World Championships as Darwin is lining up to be this August.
The deadline for applications is 16th July. For any queries please contact Tara on [email protected].
Once a local partner has been confirmed Squash Australia would then launch a bid to the World Squash Federation (WSF). To be clear, we have not won the tender for the event in 2018, however we need a confirmed partner in advance of us applying to the WSF.
4. Australian Junior Open (AJO) 2017 – 2019
We have received an expression of interest for the AJO event in 2017, 2018 and 2019 (from the same State). This is the first bid in the new expression of interest format of event tendering as per the March communication.
In doing so this activates the 14 day notification to the States. We would like to notify the States that any other interest in hosting the event should be emailed to [email protected] by the 1st July 2016.
The 2017 AJO is scheduled to be played in January 2017 as the OJC is being played in April 2017 over Easter (date selected by NZ). The 2018 AJO and OJC events will most likely also be January due to the April Commonwealth Games.
5. Australian Open 2017
We have an open tender position for the 2017 Australian Open. We would appreciate any and all interest to be submitted to [email protected] by the 15th July. If we are unable to find a partner then the 2017 event might be cancelled.
6. Australian Closed 2016
We have an open tender for the 2016 Australian Closed Championships. We would love to run this national highlight with a partner in 2016 with the option of adding both a doubles event for the first time and graded national championships. Can any and all interest be submitted to [email protected] by 15th July.
7. Australian Squash Tour 2017
For 2017 Squash Australia would like to launch a new Australian PSA Squash Tour. The basic idea behind the project would be that we increase the branding and profile of the event series in Australia by providing both a ranking for the Australian events and subsequent prize fund for the top 3 male and female players, encouraging more players to play the events. More details will shortly follow on this and we would appreciated feedback on the concept to Tara at [email protected] .
8. Awards Evening
The 2016 Awards Evening will take place in Melbourne, at the Mercure Hotel on Albert park following on from the finals of the Australian Open on Friday 12th August (expected 2030 for 2100 dinner). Discount tickets are available per person or per table – please click here for more information.
We have received a good number of nominations, however as it is the first year we have run a process of nominate, vote and final selection the deadline for nominations has been extended to 20th June. This will mean voting will be open for 1 month until the 20th July. Please ensure as many people are nominated as possible from within the squash community, so their good work can be recognised.
The Australian National team and some top world stars will be on show that week at the Australian Open and on the night itself.
9. Squash Australia AGM
The Squash Australia Forum and AGM has been confirmed for the 26th and 27th November in Brisbane. Both the forum and AGM are open to all of the squash community, and we would welcome as many attendees as possible.
Please contact Iain at [email protected] will email more details shortly.
10. IT Strategy
Website - Before September we hope to launch the new Squash Australia website and corresponding State websites. The work will be completed in phases to ensure delivery against tight deadlines.
We would be grateful if each State could nominate one person that can help develop the States website as part of this project with Squash Australia at the IT provider. The website will come with fully integrated CRM and ranking data.
More information will follow to the designated contact.
eLearning Portal – Over the next few months Squash Australia will launch a new eLearning portal which will provide comprehensive eLearning capabilities around coach education, referee education, and provide support to the workforce in the form of information for parents, coaches and administrators.
Loyalty Benefits Portal - In the next couple of months Squash Australia intends to launch a new Loyalty benefits portal. In order to offer extensive portfolio of benefits to players we will need to have confirmed data of the players.
For those States that collect the affiliations online the portal can be set up to register players and collect funds upfront before activating their membership. There is no compulsory sign up for this system from the States, it is there as a functionality if required.
Next we will be creating a similar benefits section for Squash centres.
11. Squash Australia – State Strategy
With the completion of the Squash Australia Strategy in Q1 please find attached a version with a State column which States might find useful when completing their over the next couple of months.
In addition, Squash Australia would like to make available their staff if they can help in any way to develop the States’ strategy with linkages to the Squash Australia strategy. Likewise we extend the support to any help we can provide on States Department of Sport funding applications. Combined across all the states, these total a significant amount of money for the sport and if there is anything we can do to help please just let us know.
12. Participation Strategy
The new Participation Strategy has been launched with excellent feedback from all Stakeholders (please click here for details) as promised in the February Melbourne workshop.
Affiliation System - Over the past few months we have been working through the new affiliation process and we appreciate everyone’s commitment and feedback. The process has been invaluable in highlighting a number fundamental weaknesses in our system. The general feedback has been encouraging and focused around a few simple changes which we could make in order to make the process easier for all, these include:
- A standardised registration form for players
- The addition in the States without them, of a Social membership to enable the affiliation of active Squash players outside of a team environment (growing number of players)
The affiliation process also falls in line with the new Participation strategy and the general concept of providing a product for weekly player, monthly players and player that play a couple of times a year. By being to track and understand these players we will be able to provide a better service/product to them, enabling us to get them on court more often. The additional numbers will be especially beneficial to the States at a Department of Sport level as they are largely activity focused, and the additional court time will add to the financial viability of the centres.
We will continue the process and aim to get some draft ideas to you shortly.
Sporting Schools - Some recent changes have been made to the Sporting Schools programme for Squash with the aim of making the programme easier to deliver and boost the school participation which has been poor the past year where we were almost bottom of the 32 sports around the country. To this end Squash Australia has ring-fenced $40,000 in funding for the States to incentives delivery of the programme.
13. CEO Updates
In addition to the quarterly CEO update reports there is now a weekly CEO update from Richard Vaughan on key developments from around the Country. Please click here for a direct link towww.SquashAustralia.TV
We appreciate all the feedback we have had on the ranking system. This has all be collated and transferred in to a new matrix and system which the current Events Working Group will dissect and approve over the next weeks. The rankings will then be created using the new integrated IT system and distributed by the latest August, ready for the AJC in September.
We appreciate everyone’s patience in this period.
15. Squash Australia Working Groups
The Squash Australia working groups will meet for the first time in June, aiming to meet at least quarterly to direct and innovate key areas of the Squash Australia strategic plan.
In the education front some information to note on upcoming activities;
- Talent Development course – Melbourne MSAC, August 10-13th (catch the semi-final and finals of the Australian Open). Places still open.
- Squash Australia Coaches Workshop – Melbourne MSAC, August 11th (finals day – Australian Open). Limited places still open.
- A Tutor Trainer course – Q4 please contact [email protected] if you have interest in developing additional State tutors.
- The Referee Foundation course will shortly be available in a 20 minute online exam via the new Squash Australia eLearning portal (coming soon)
For any interest in the above courses please contact Zac at [email protected].