Reports and publications

The impact of Indigenous community sports programs: the case of surfing: research report

Posted on: 25 February, 2013
Issue: Vol 13 No 1, January 2013 – March 2013
Related to Social and emotional wellbeing Physical activity Research

Rynne S, Rossi T (2012)
The impact of Indigenous community sports programs: the case of surfing: research report
Brisbane: Australian Sports Commission and University of Queensland

This report outlines findings from a research project that investigated the impact of community surfing programs on the lives of Indigenous Australians. The study examined:

  • whether surfing programs confer social benefits on participants
  • how surfing programs should be designed for sustainability and viability.

Data was collected from 98 participants in five surfing programs in New South Wales (NSW), Victoria (Vic), Queensland (QLD) and South Australia (SA). Interviews were conducted with Indigenous surfing program participants, program providers and community members.

The most significant finding of this research was that surfing programs have the potential to connect participants so they can learn and develop in a variety of meaningful ways. The research concludes that surfing should be considered as an appropriate sport for use with Indigenous communities. The report also makes recommendations about future surfing program design.

The research described in this report was undertaken by the University of Queensland in collaboration with Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, Australian Sports Commission and Surfing Australia.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract