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 avenue 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 average contribution of A$25,000 per year – to the development of future leaders of the Swim School Industry.

Year 1 took place at the Coutts Residence in Finland. The group worked tirelessly for 10 days to design an achievable, sustainable Next Generation floor plan of a Swim School. Year 2 recipients created their own study tours and consisted of; Creating the ideal customer experience, How to build and sustain a best practice workplace culture, Enhancing retention through data mining, and How to shave operating costs with design, energy efficiency and build a more all round energy efficient company. Findings of which will be presented at this years respective ASSA and USSSA Conferences.

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.  Scholarship applications for the 2020 Project will open in March 2019.

Wayne Pollock, President, ASSA

2019 marks the third year of the Coutts Family Scholarship Program; a wonderful program that invites scholarship recipients to explore an exciting area of the learn-to-swim industry.  This year’s scholarship will once again break new ground, with funds being allocated in two significant areas. A share of the funds will be used to bring together key Board members of ASSA and USSSA to participate in a Think Tank at the Coutts home in Finland, alongside the successful Scholarship recipients who will conduct research to contribute to the Think Tank.  In the lead up, they will work with their respective Board to shape and conduct research. This is an exciting opportunity to play a key influential role that is sure to impact the industry for years to come.

The US Swim School Association is truly fortunate to be a part of the Coutts Family Scholarship.  It is amazing to see the knowledge gained and lifelong friendships made through this unique program.  The Coutts family are leaders, friends and supporters of the learn to swim industry around the world.  These scholarships provide the opportunity to step away from the day to day operations, travel to a beautiful part of the world and spend time learning and sharing with other like minded people.  These scholarships will build a fantastic legacy that our industry will reap the benefits of for years to come.

John Kirk, President, USSSA

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.

For Year 3, a Scholarship approach has once again been adopted. It is intended that one Scholarship recipient will be selected from an ASSA Member Swim School and one from a USSSA Member Swim School.

The cornerstone of the Scholarship is participation in a Swim Schools Industry ‘Think Tank’, hosted by John and Sally Coutts at their residence in Finland, during early July 2020. Running over 3-4 days, the Think Tank will consist of up to 18 swim school leaders from a range of backgrounds – including the Presidents and Vice Presidents of ASSA and the USSSA. The event breaks new ground; and will result in numerous significant benefits for ASSA and USSSA Member Swim Schools. The Coutts Family Trust is funding the Think Tank, in addition to the Scholarship program.

The Scholarship recipients will be required to:

  1. Assist in the preparation of the Agenda for the Think Tank, primarily by researching selected topics,
  2. Participate in the Think Tank, including ‘recording’ proceedings, and
  3. Report, by way of Presentation, on the discussions, findings and outcomes of the Think Tank – at the respective national Conference in 2020.

Year 1 Recipients in Lapland

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 School (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 an International Voting 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 for input.
  5. SELECTION OF FINALISTS: The Selection Committee may short-list a number of ‘Finalists’ for the interview stage, should interviews be required by the Committee.
  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. ACCOMODATION: At the Coutts residence, some females may need to share a double bed; and most males will be on single mattresses on various floors.
  5. INSURANCE: Applicants are required to take out their own personal travel insurance, to include medical coverage, etc.
  6. CATERING: All food and beverage costs will be covered for the duration of the program, excepting personal times.
  7. PRESENTATION: Scholarship recipients will be required, at their own cost, to present at their respective National Conference.
    a) ASSA: July/August tbc 2020
    b) USSSA: September/October tbc 2020.
  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 agreed to be same (no written references required).
  9. 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 May 1st 2019.
  2. The Selection Committee will review the Applications and determine Finalists from ASSA Member Swim Schools and Finalists from USSSA Member Swim Schools, after consultation with the respective Boards.
  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 Year 3

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