Thanks to the commitment and dedication of a small group of University Students Australia wide, the Australian University Sailing Association has been established. The need for the Association’s establishment stemmed from Tom Mallet’s vision for a unified system Australia wide, over 5 years ago.
Tom Mallet will now serve on the executive alongside Kylie Upton (UNSW), Edward Smith (USYD), Jacqueline Gurr (MONASH), Alex South (USYD) and President, Daniel Watson (UTS). Also on the executive will be state representatives yet to be elected.
Watson’s involvement and enthusiasm for the Association is parallel with Mallet’s original blueprint- highlighting the biggest problems sailing faces at university level.
The executive will provide a clear line of communication through all participating states and universities. This will be incorporating both social media as well the more conventional forms of communication.
Overcoming the geographic challenges of living in such a large country, tops the list of goals for the executive; who have put in place a structure that allows State Representatives direct access to information, funding and assistance with events. Each University will then communicate with AUSA, through their representatives.
Watson believes that accessibility will be key to the success of AUSA. With the majority of university sailors located in Sydney, the association provides a way of organising regattas that sailors from all unis are able to attend. With regattas planned up and down the east coast of Australia in the following year, the AUSA will have a good starting point with the view to take the regattas Australia wide.
The association aims to increase participation from learn through to sail to high performance racing. It will attempt to merge high performance regattas with fun based learn to sail programs to cover a full range of interests from students. The enhancement of university sailing will attempt to prevent the high drop out of people from youth sailing to adult racing.
The association plans in the first year to have at least three national regattas including the Australian University Games, a fleet racing regatta and a match racing regatta. These events have been running thanks to the great work of Ajay Rau over the past few years, however, AUSA will be able to set up a system so these regattas can be continued for years to come. By becoming incorporated, AUSA will hopefully work with YA and sailing clubs around Australia to produce great opportunities for university students in racing and of course have fun!