AUSTRALIA is set to maintain its tag as the world's premier surfing nation, with the federal government pledging $2 million to Surfing Australia for a dedicated training facility at a media conference at Casuarina, NSW.
Already leading the world with their proactive 'forward thinking' approach to surfing, this is another step forward and leaves the rest of the world further behind. Should other surf nations implement the same high performance training plans? We think so.
As part of its commitment to the sport, Surfing Australia will build the world's first purpose-built high performance training facility at Casuarina, Northern NSW to support our elite athlete development pathway.
Minister for Sport The Hon Kate Ellis, Member for Richmond The Hon Justine Elliot along with a host of past and present Australian world surfing champions including 7 x ASP Women's World Champion Layne Beachley (Sydney, NSW), 1978 ASP Men's World Champion Wayne "Rabbit" Bartholomew (Coolangatta, Qld) and 2009 ASP Men's World no.2 Joel Parkinson (Coolangatta, Qld) were present for the day's announcement.
Mark Occhilupo commented on the facility saying "What an incredible breakthrough for surfing - a dedicated facility to train surfers - in my time I would have loved access to such a facility but it's just fantastic to see our future surfers will - The rest of the world are trying to be the worlds numer nation in the sport but a facility like this goes a long way in giving us the edge - it's just fantastic."
All the surfers present echoed similar views and they included - a recovering Joel Parkinson, Luke Egan, Wayne Bartholomew, Layne Beachley, Harley Ingelby, Chelsea Hedges along with emerging champions Owen Wright and Dean Bowen.
Construction will begin shortly and the facility should be operational early next year ad surfers from all over Australia are certain to utilize this state-of-art modern world first surf training facility.