Regional Academies of Sport Inc Join Forces with Surf Life Saving NSW to Launch Academy Program for Athlete Development


The Regional Academies of Sport Inc (RASi) are proud to announce an exciting partnership with Surf Life Saving New South Wales (SLSNSW) to launch a pioneering academy program aimed at nurturing and developing the next generation of talented athletes in the world of surf lifesaving.


This ground-breaking initiative, unveiled in collaboration with SLSNSW, represents a significant step forward in creating a comprehensive and structured pathway for aspiring athletes, giving them the support, resources and guidance they need to excel in the demanding world of surf lifesaving.

SLSNSW has a rich history and legacy of producing outstanding athletes, who play a pivotal role in ensuring beach safety across the state’s coastline. This partnership with RASi will take athlete development to a whole new level by providing them with access to world-class coaching, state-of-the-art facilities, and personalised training programs.

The academy program will encompass a wide range of training modules, including surf skills, physical fitness, first-aid training, rescue techniques and much more. Athletes will be exposed to the knowledge and expertise of experienced coaches and mentors, ensuring that they develop the skills and resilience needed to thrive in the demanding surf lifesaving environment.

Brett O’Farrell, Chair of RASi, expressed his enthusiasm about this collaboration, saying, “We are excited to partner with Surf Life Saving NSW to launch this Academy Program. This initiative will not only enhance athlete development but also promote a culture of safety, camaraderie, and excellence in our local communities. We look forward to working closely with SLSNSW and witnessing the growth and success of our young surf lifesaving talents.”

The alignment provides a clear athlete and coach pathway from Club and Branch representation through to Interstate team selection. The academies will have an initial intake of 54 athletes aged 15-16 years old, with a new cohort of 46 athletes to come in over following season to grow the Academies to capacity.


“For the first time, SLSNSW is providing a structured pathway offering to emerging athletes and increasing its investment in Surf Sport athlete development tenfold,” SLSNSW Surf Sports Manager, Jim Pinnington said.


“The inception of the Performance Academies will provide unprecedented access and opportunity for aspiring athletes along the entire NSW coastline and prepare youth athletes for the elite demands of our sport.”


The Academies are reflective of the organisation’s commitment to the Surf Sports Re-imagined strategy released in late 2022, redefining the athlete pathway experience which was a key deliverable to emerge from the strategy.


“The inception of the academies reflects our commitment to develop and solidify our athlete pathway across all disciplines, and furthermore, it provides a framework to develop the number and quality of coaches in NSW,” SLSNSW Director, Don van Keimpema said.


This collaboration will not only produce exceptional athletes but also passionate advocates for beach safety, who will continue the essential work of Surf Life Saving NSW. This partnership is an important step forward in our collective efforts to create a safer coastal community.

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