ASSA-USSSA Coutts Family Scholarship Program

About the Program

The Coutts Family Scholarship Program provides an unprecedented opportunity for talented, committed and passionate individuals within the Australian Swim Schools Association (ASSA) and United States Swim Schools Association (USSSA) Member Swim Schools; to learn, be inspired and share.  It is a perfect opportunity for those who are bursting with innovation and energy, would love to experience what others are doing … to explore what can possibly be … and, of course, travel!

The Coutts family, led by John and Sally, has a long, rich and successful history with the Swim School Industry. Whilst this was primarily through their affiliation with Carlile Swimming, it extends around Australia and throughout much of the swimming world.  In late 2016, John and Sally started to conceptualise an on-going formal contribution to their beloved Swim School Industry and its future pathways. The result is the Coutts Family Scholarship Program: a ten-year commitment, with a minimum contribution of A$25,000 per year – to the development of future leaders of the Swim School Industry.

With the strong bond already in place with between ASSA and USSSA, these two groups of industry friends became the logical Partners.  A ‘give back’ philosophy is a core element of the program – and in keeping with that, Scholarship recipients are required to ‘present’ the outcomes from their experiences in a manner that will reach and benefit all the Member Swim Schools of ASSA and the USSSA.

ASSA is excited to be a part of this fantastic Program. In 2017, the first recipients of the Coutts Family Scholarship Program had a wonderful experience working together in Finland to develop new swim school concepts.  Year 2 of the Program offers awesome new challenges and adventures. Recipients will be travelling to different locations with a mission to collaborate with those that they visit, to study learn-to-swim best practices.  This wonderful networking opportunity is sure to expand the knowledge of the participants, their collaborators and those that listen to their 2019 conference presentations. All this whilst advancing world’s best practice for both Association’s, its members and the families and communities we collectively serve.

The US Swim School Association is thrilled to be a part of the Coutts Family Scholarship Program.  The Coutts family have been long time members, supporters and friends of US Swim School Association. To be able to spend some time thinking about the industry that we love is a gift and the opportunity to share the experience with industry leaders from the USSSA and ASSA is priceless. The Coutts Family Scholarship leaves an incredible legacy and will help our members and industry growing in countless ways in the future.

The inaugural Coutts Family Scholarship Fund provided a pathway for six individuals – three from Australia and three from the USA – to access the world’s best practices, expanding their knowledge and network with other Swim School members. This collaboration and experience benefitted the individual scholarship recipients and served to advance both Associations – and the families and communities we collectively serve.

The Australians and Americans travelled to the Coutt’s residence in Finland and convened there from January 27th to the February 5 th. Led by John and Sally, and international leading Swim School architect – Geoff Ward of New Zealand, and armed with a wealth of data from Carlile Swimming, the group designed an achievable, sustainable, futuristic Swim School. Working within set parameters, they factored in the likes of inclusion, facilities, equipment, curriculum, customer experience, staff and management. The group then presented their outcomes – particularly the deliberations in arriving at some – at their respective Association’s annual Conference held in 2018.

John and Sally’s hospitality extended to experiences beyond the property and the successful applicants enjoyed Nordic adventures to savour for a lifetime.

In and around the workshop space of the Coutts residence, Finland

Application Guidelines & Conditions

  1. RESIDENTS: The Coutts Family Scholarship is offered to Residents of Australia and the United States of America and who are directly associated with an ASSA or USSSA Member Swim School (not International Member Swim Schools of these Associations).
  2. AGE: Scholarships are granted to applicants whom are 18 years and older.
  3. NATURE OF THE PROJECT: The Coutts Family Scholarship will be an annual event, with a different focus each year.
  4. SUBMISSION OF APPLICATION: The application must be lodged with ASSA, regardless of ASSA or USSSA Membership. ASSA will distribute the applications to the Selection Committee, and provide copies to both Associations.
  5. SELECTION OF FINALISTS: The Selection Committee will short-list a number of ‘Finalists’ for the interview stage.
  6. INTERVIEWS: Finalists will participate in an interview with the Selection Committee via the internet.
  7. JOINT APPLICATIONS: Scholarships will not be awarded to more than one recipient from any one Swim School.
  8. AMOUNT OF SCHOLARSHIP: The Coutts Family Scholarship is not a cash value. It is designed to cover the costs of the individual’s flights, accommodation, designated activities and catering for the week. Individual spending money is not included (see below in the allowance section for more information). The recipient’s expenses incurred to present the outcomes of the experience at his or her respective national Conference are also not included.
  9. DURATION: The on-site duration of the tour will be 10 days, and does not include the time required to get to Finland and return home.
  10. SELECTION: The Selection Committee is comprised of one representative from each of the following: Coutts Family Trust; ASSA; and USSSA.
  11. FURTHER APPLICATION: The awarding of the Coutts Family Scholarship Fund is a competitive process. Applicants who are not selected are highly encouraged to reapply in future rounds.

CONDITIONS

  1. CONTRACT: A Scholarship is awarded subject to the condition that the recipient agrees to be bound by the terms and conditions set forth in a Contract document executed by the Individual.
  2. TRAVEL: The Coutts Family Scholarship Fund will cover the Scholarship Recipient’s round trip economy class airfares, as well as ground travel to and from the venue and planned activities whilst in Finland.
  3. FLIGHTS: a) USA flights to New York and then onto Helsinki, and return. b) Australia: flights from home town to Helsinki.
  4. INSURANCE: Applicants are required to take out their own personal travel insurance, to include medical coverage, etc.
  5. CATERING: All food and beverage costs will be covered, excepting personal times.
  6. ALLOWANCE: There will be no allowances (eg per diems) provided to recipients, however, all non-personal costs of the tour will be covered by the Fund.
  7. PRESENTATION: Scholarship Recipients will be required, at their own cost, to present at their respective National Conference. a. ASSA: August 2018, Gold Coast b. USSSA: October 2018, Las Vegas
  8. REFEREES: All applicants are required to obtain two (2) References as part of the application process. Name and contact details are required of the Referees – who must have already have agreed to be same.
  9. APPLICATION ARCHIVE: All documentation forming any part of the Coutts Family Scholarship Fund application becomes the property of the Fund and will be electronically archived.

For Year 2, a Scholarship approach was once again adopted. However, unlike Year 1, multiple projects were considered. Some of the possibilities the Applicatns could choose from are listed below – though suggestions from Applicatns were considered as well. Two Scholarship recipients were selected from the ASSA Member Swim Schools and two from the USSSA Member Swim Schools.

Possible topics for study:

1. Overseeing the build of a selected facility design from the Year 1 project.

2. Creating a business model (including financial plan and breakeven analysis) and implementation plan for the facility designed in the Year 1 project.

3. Study tour, in search of best practices, to various parts of the world – including the likes of China, Japan, Germany. This could be a single country or multiple in similar geographical zone.

4. Think tank – innovation in learn to swim – finding and developing a creative innovation that will add significant value to either the industry or specific learn-to-swim businesses.

5. Energy efficient plant and facility design

6. Use of technology to enhance the teaching and customer experience.

7. How to build and sustain a best practice Workplace Culture. This may be in either Australia or the USA; and would seek insights from other industries.

Application Guidelines & Conditions

  1. MEMBERS: The Coutts Family Scholarship Program is offered to applicable members of ASSA and USSSA as determined by the respective Association. ASSA recognises individuals who are directly associated with a Member Swim Schools (Tier 1 or 2) or ASSA International Member Swim School based in New Zealand. The USSSA recognises individuals who are directly associated with a Member Swim School or International Member Swim School.
  2. AGE: Scholarships are granted to applicants whom are 25 years and older.
  3. NATURE OF THE PROJECT: The Coutts Family Scholarship Program is an annual event, with a different focus each year.
  4. SUBMISSION OF APPLICATION: The application must be lodged with ASSA, regardless of ASSA or USSSA Membership. ASSA will distribute the applications to the Selection Committee, and provide copies to both Associations.
  5. SELECTION OF FINALISTS: The Selection Committee may short-list a number of ‘Finalists’ for the interview stage.
  6. INTERVIEWS: Finalists may be required to participate in an interview with the Selection Committee via the internet.
  7. JOINT APPLICATIONS: Scholarships will not be awarded to more than one recipient from any one Swim School.
  8. AMOUNT OF SCHOLARSHIP: The Coutts Family Scholarship is not a cash value. It is designed to cover the costs of the individual’s flights, accommodation, designated activities and other allowances, as determined with the selection committee. Individual spending money is not included. The recipient’s expenses incurred to present the outcomes of the experience at his or her respective national Conference are also not included.
  9. DURATION: The on-site duration of the project should be sufficient to enable an excellent outcome. This will be finalised in consultation with the Selection Committee.
  10. SELECTION: The Selection Committee is comprised of one representative from each of the following: Coutts Family Trust; ASSA; and USSSA. 11. FURTHER APPLICATION: The awarding of the Coutts Family Scholarship Program is a competitive process. Applicants who are not selected are highly encouraged to re-apply in future rounds.

 

CONDITIONS

  1. CONTRACT: A Scholarship is awarded subject to the condition that the recipient agrees to be bound by the terms and conditions set forth in a Contract document executed by the Individual.
  2. TRAVEL: The Coutts Family Scholarship Program will cover the Scholarship Recipient’s round trip economy class airfares, as well as approved ground travel to and from the venue and approved planned activities.
  3. FLIGHTS: For flights to be covered, they should be as direct as possible.
  4. INSURANCE: Applicants are required to take out their own personal travel insurance, to include medical coverage, etc.
  5. CATERING: All food and beverage costs will be covered for the duration of the program, excepting personal times.
  6. PRESENTATION: Scholarship Recipients will be required, at their own cost, to present at their respective National Conference. a. ASSA: July/August tbc 2019 b. USSSA: September/October tbc 2019.
  7. REFEREES: All applicants are required to obtain two (2) References as part of the application process. Name and contact details are required of the Referees – who must have already agreed to be same (no written references required).
  8. APPLICATION ARCHIVE: All documentation forming any part of the Coutts Family Scholarship Program application becomes the property of the Program and will be electronically archived.

The Application Process

The Assessment Process

  1. Applications properly completed, on the Form provided, must be received by ASSA – to Emily.McNeill@australianswimschools.org.au – by 5:00pm AEST June 30th.
  2. The Selection Committee will review the Applications and determine Finalists from ASSA Member Swim Schools and Finalists from USSSA Member Swim Schools.
  3. All applicants not selected to advance will be notified.
  4. The Selection Committee will schedule mutually convenient video-conference interviews with each finalist, where required by the Selection Committee.
  5. Following the completion of the interview period, the Selection Committee will meet to finalise the successful applicants.
  6. Applicants who were not awarded a Scholarship will be notified.
  7. Those successful will be notified and offered a Scholarship. They will only formally become a Scholarship Recipient upon proper completion of the Contract.

Click below for a downloadable PDF with FAQ’s and more information.

Year 1 Year 2

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