Local students welcome surfing legend

Published 23 October 2008

Former world surfing champion, president of the Association of Surfing Professionals and local legend Wayne (Rabbit) Bartholomew, will share his experiences with students of the Diploma of Sport Management (Surfing Studies) at Southern Cross University this Friday October 24.

Rabbit will meet with students as part of a unit of study aimed at increasing students' understanding of the culture and history of the sport of surfing.

Course lecturer Tim Edwards said that Rabbit would offer a unique insight into a pivotal era in the history of surfing.

“As a high profile competitor in the 1970s, Rabbit was one of the key driving forces as surfing began to emerge as a professional sport, and surfers were beginning to seek recognition for their efforts in the same way that other athletes were rewarded,” said Mr Edwards.

“He has some incredible stories about the surfing scene in an era when little information was available on conditions and cultural differences at the locations visited for competitions, as compared with today’s global society.

“Not only that, but as the president of the Association of Surfing Professionals he is now playing a vital part in controlling where surfing is going in the future.”

The Diploma of Sport Management (Surfing Studies) at Southern Cross University is aimed at those who wish to work in the business side of the industry. It is endorsed by the peak sporting body, Surfing Australia, and supported by major industry players.

With surfing now recognised as a billion dollar industry, the Surfing Studies course is designed to equip students with the specialised skills and knowledge they need to be professional and competitive in whichever sector of the industry they choose to work in.

Mr Edwards said that an understanding of how surfing developed was essential for students.

“Surfing can be a challenging sport to manage and promote due to the diverse international locations and other distinct features,” said Mr Edwards.

“You can’t market any sports product or service without an understanding of the culture of that sport and how it developed – and in the case of surfing you couldn’t ask for anyone better than Rabbit Bartholomew to explain that.

“The students in this unit are potential industry leaders and important contributors to the sport.

“We’re appreciative of Rabbit’s recognition of this and value the ongoing close relationship between him and the University.”

Media opportunity: Rabbit Barthlomew, Tim Edwards and Diploma of Sport Management (Surfing Studies) students will be available for interview and photos from 10.30am (NSW time), Friday, October 24, at Southern Cross University’s Tweed Gold Coast campus, Brett Street, Tweed Heads.

Media contact: Zoe Satherley Southern Cross University media officer 6620 3144, 0439 132 095.