Operating since 2019, Blue Surf is a wellbeing initiative available to all employees of the Queensland Police Service (QPS).
The program has seen more than 1,000 employees learn new skills, experience the healing benefits of the ocean and engage with others, including their families, in a different environment.
Blue Surf Coordinator Senior Sergeant Julie Gilmore saw the wellbeing benefits of surfing through her own experience, which have been backed by research that demonstrates the benefits of being in a water environment.
“We have joined the International Surf Therapy Organisation, which is a coalition of similar surf therapies across the world,” she said.
Blue Surf lessons are free of charge for QPS employees, funded by an internal initiative – Our People Matter.
This initiative focuses on four pillars of having healthy bodies, healthy minds, safe workplaces and fair and positive workplaces.
Due to the uniqueness of Queensland, Blue Surf activities include stand up paddleboarding lessons and an introduction to diving.
Stand up paddleboard lessons have been provided on the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Townsville, Hughenden, Cloncurry and Mt Isa while diving is offered in Cairns. There are plans to undertake these activities in other regional areas later in the year.
Senior Sergeant Gilmore said throughout her 33 years of service, there has been a growing commitment from the organisation to invest in the wellbeing of their people with Blue Surf being one of those initiatives.
“As we often see, police work can be uncertain and presents each of us our own challenges and at some point we all need assistance,” she said.
“Blue Surf provides reactive and proactive activities which can be done with others or alone and is an activity where employees can take action to assist themselves.”
Blue Surf is run by a group of volunteer employees who understand the benefits of the water and are looking to assist their fellow members.
Police officers aren’t born, they’re made, with every challenge or adversity overcome, and their personal values, helping to shape them into great officers who can make a real difference.
There is no better time to join the QPS. You’re already ready.
Visit PoliceRecruit.com.au to check your eligibility today.