Media Release

Ongoing support for surf clubs – Media Release

Backing small business will ensure ongoing support for surf clubs around Australia – COSBOA 


Supporting small businesses by choosing to shop with them in-store or online can contribute to iconic community activities such as Surf Life Saving Clubs, The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) said today.

Small businesses are an important source of funding for Australia’s community sporting organisations, and with many of them doing tough because of the Covid19 pandemic, their local surf and other sports clubs could be facing funding pressure.

COSBOA chief executive Peter Strong said: “If we don’t support small businesses right now, what we will lose is our community and the essence of what we value locally.”

Mr Strong said without the sponsorship of small businesses, many local sporting groups and surf lifesaving clubs would miss out on important financial support.

“Sports and the beach are a huge part of our weekends and so much of that is supported by local business and often the owners are members of the community who have been involved in that club,” Mr Strong said.

“When people spend with small businesses they are keeping money in their local community, and ensuring these businesses that help sporting clubs and other grassroots organisations can keep fulfilling the many important community functions they serve – bringing people together, keeping people active, and building community pride.”

Surf Life Saving Australia CEO Adam Weir said the pandemic had affected clubs differently around the country and all relied on community support.

“Surf Life Saving is the largest movement of its kind in Australia with over 176,000 members and 314 clubs around Australia who put in over 1.4 million volunteer hours each year,” Mr Weir said.

“Clubs are a central part of their communities and have always relied on the support of small businesses whether this is financially through sponsorship, helping out at events or through in-kind support.

“SLSA is grateful for the enormous contribution that small businesses have made to surf lifesaving clubs across Australia and now more than ever, our clubs need the support of their local communities to ensure they can continue to protect and serve the community.”

Surf Life Saving Queensland President Mark Fife OAM said that the pandemic has had a significant impact on clubs across Queensland.

“The some 34,000 members of our 58 surf lifesaving clubs that patrol 8,000 kms of Queensland coastline sacrifice their time and money to keep thousands of beach-goers safe.

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has had an incredible impact on our organisation and the vital services we provide for the community”

“Many clubs rely heavily on the sponsorship and support of local small businesses – whether it’s sponsoring the nipper program or providing funding for much needed lifesaving equipment like rescue boards, tubes or IRBs.”

“With so many local small businesses doing it tough, there is concern about the flow-on effect for not-for-profit organisations like surf lifesaving”.

Glen Borg, President of the Newport Surf Life Saving Club at Newport Beach, NSW, said sponsorship from small businesses had directly funded better services for the community.

“Sponsorship and support from small businesses allow Newport Surf Club to give back to our community through enhanced programs and extra services.“

“Local businesses support has helped us provide first aid mental health courses, give returned veterans the opportunity to join our Bronze course and offered our nippers the opportunity to visit other clubs, run training camps and learn about resilience.”

“We need local communities to GO LOCAL FIRST to support small businesses, because in doing so, you are helping sporting and community organisations like Newport Surf Club give back to communities.”

COSBOA is running a six-month campaign with funding support from the Morrison government urging Australians to GO LOCAL FIRST and shop with small, local businesses both in-store, and online.

Find out more about the campaign by searching “Go Local First”, checking out the #golocalfirst hashtag on social media, or visiting


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