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The United Paddling Management project benefits clubs and members

29 January 2021

With the support of Sport Australia, Paddle Australia and its six State Paddle Associations are delivering enhanced outcomes for clubs and members thanks to the United Paddling Management (UPM) project.

The project, which began in June 2019, focused on reducing duplication and improving efficiency by introducing whole-of-sport processes, procedures, and systems.

“We’d already established a philosophy which was around doing things once where we could and doing them well,” Paddle Australia CEO Phil Jones said. “UPM allowed us to accelerate that into the areas of strategic planning, finance and workforce… taking away some of the administrative, management and compliance burdens from our State Paddle Associations and looking after those once, nationally.”

Paddle Australia President Andrea McQuitty said efficiency was a priority.

“Overall, it was about using our limited combined resources in the most effective, efficient and strategic manner so that we could achieve our goals for paddling in Australia,” she said.

“If you were to step back and look at how we operated with the levels of duplication and lack of alignment, you could only conclude that wasn’t the best way to run the business.”

By reducing duplication and improving efficiencies, Paddle Australia and the State Paddle Associations can now place greater focus on delivering its strategically aligned initiatives in the areas of participation, sport development, marketing and promotion and advocacy.

Paddle Tasmania’s John Borojevic described the project as “extremely worthwhile with a range of benefits especially for a small organisation like ours”.

With a national strategic plan developed cooperatively by Paddle Australia and the states, Mr Borojevic said Paddle Tasmania no longer needs to duplicate the work of Paddle Australia and other states or allocate time and resources each year to writing their strategic plan as they have a national plan to work towards.

Paddle Western Australia Executive Officer Rosalie Evans said Paddle Australia’s approach to the process had been important.

“What has made this process so successful is the communication, transparency and hard work, not just from our national office, but from all the state offices working together,” she said.

By working together, Paddle Australia and the State Paddle Associations were also able to support clubs and members impacted by COVID-19 by developing a Paddle Support Package.

Announced in May last year, key elements of the Paddle Support Package included:

  • A 25 per cent discount on 2020-21 State and Paddle Australia fees for club members on renewals and new memberships
  • The establishment of a Paddle On Foundation to assist those in need to keep paddling and remain members of their Club
  • Free member access to a new online Introduction to Coaching course
  • A three-month extension for Paddle Australia qualification holders

Sport Australia congratulates Paddle Australia and the State Paddle Associations on working together to deliver a range of initiatives that will benefit the paddling community for years to come.

Read more about how Sport Australia is supporting sports to implement modern, effective and efficient governance at

Young woman paddling in a sea kayak.

Key outcomes

The UPM project has already delivered the following outcomes:


  • Refinement and alignment of the whole of sport strategy including key strategic pillars, and performance measures at both national and state level
  • Defined and documented roles and responsibilities for key stakeholders in delivering the whole of sport strategy
  • The implementation of an enhanced framework to monitor and evaluate progress against the whole of sport strategy


  • The implementation of an aligned whole of sport finance system
  • A standardised chart of accounts across Paddle Australia and the State Paddle Associations
  • The ability to undertake whole of sport financial budgeting and performance reporting, and present this information at both whole of sport and State Paddle Associations level
  • Increased efficiency through increased automation and the adoption of standard policies and procedures


  • The adoption of consistent, fit for purpose employment contracts and HR policies and procedures
  • Defined role descriptions aligned to the whole of sport strategy
  • The implementation of a whole of sport HR information management system to support alignment and enhance the ability of the sport to engage and manage people, improve compliance and safety and maintain appropriate records
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