Wow – how time flies, as soon as you know it, we are only days away from the first event of the new season, a NSW Series Day on August 11, followed very closely by the first classic river race, The Hawkesbury 120. It feels like just yesterday we were in sunny Mildura for the 100 and now we are preparing to kick off the 2019/2020 season.
As I write this column, I am just a week or so away from finishing my position as the CEO of SRA. That’s the bad news out of the way (or good news depending on your experience/view, no judgment!) but I have agreed with the SRA Board to stay on as a contractor to the sport. It’s no secret that it has been a tough year for the sport on multiple levels. The sudden increase in our Insurance costs is a driving force behind the recent membership increases, but it also has had a further knock on effect on some of the financial constraints the sport faces over the coming 12 months or more. With this in mind I will step back and take a “behind the scenes” role to try and continue to search for commercial partners, other revenue options and to continue to drive the extra safety initiatives and testing with the valuable support of RMS and The Department for Maritime Safety. It’s very easy to get bogged down in the day to day operational matters of the sport, which unfortunately I have over the past year or so and not achieved half of the “bigger ticket” matters I wanted to. Under this new structure I will try and tick some of the bigger ticket, long-term goals and I will work away from the SRA office but still close enough to be “connected” to the sport. So, from August 16 the office will continue as normal but without the CEO position, at least for the next season at least.
Whilst my new contractor role won’t see me at many events, I will pop up from time to time and look forward to taking in events as I can. In concluding it’s VITALLY important that the sport stays united in these challenging times and work productively with your state delegates to bring the sport forward, for the better of the sport! No-one person, club or event is bigger than the sport and this needs to be considered closely over the next 12 months and more. For now, I say thank-you for having me on-board as your CEO and I will do what I can to continue the development of this great “lifestyle sport”.
Yours in Ski Racing,
CEO – Ski Racing Australia Inc.