Indigenous surfing program expands reach
Indigenous surfing program drops in on Coffs Harbour
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 19 March, 2013 : - - After two rescheduled events, the Coffs Harbour Indigenous Surfing Program went ahead last weekend in fun, playful surf at North Wall. The event - which was originally scheduled to coincide with the premiere of local Indigenous pro-surfer, Otis Carey’s profile film in late February - was forced to shift weekends after treacherous weather plagued the area on two consecutive occasions.
The 50-plus surfers who attended were educated on reading surf conditions, paddling, wave negotiation, sun smart behaviour and environmental awareness by former World Tour surfer, Lee Winkler and his surf school.
Event organiser and Otis’ dad, Rod Carey said: “The day definitely lived up to expectations. We had over 50 kids all getting involved in the day as well as fun little waves that would run along the bank. Plenty of parents and families also turned up to watch as well, which was great.”
“A lot of these kids had participated in a similar event a year or so back, but for a giant portion of them, this was the first time they’d surfed. Out of all the guys who did the course last time, a lot went on to join the local boardriders club.”
“Lee is a great coach for the kids. He’s well respected in the Coffs Harbour area and a lot of the kids look up to him and know him through various avenues like school surfing. He’s always been fantastic when it comes to the local Indigenous community.”
Local Indigenous surfer Allira Walker also won a board as an encouragement award for her courage and enthusiasm. It was Allira's first time surfing. Other prizes were given away for things like: best wipeout, best listener and best question. All participants scored themselves a certificate, a cap and a medallion as well a bunch of other prizes from a wide array of Otis’ sponsors.
In 2013, Surfing NSW is looking forward to hosting the Indigenous Surfing Program (ISP) for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The Surfing NSW 'ISP' aims to attract large numbers of young Indigenous communities to beaches throughout the state. The program promotes health, enjoyment and wellbeing through surfing and ocean safety awareness, bringing positive education to remote and local Indigenous communities.
Our principle partners, the NSW Government - Communities, Sport & Recreation and The Australian Government - Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport, continue to support this initiative and are aware of the benefits this program has on Indigenous health and activity.
With participation increasing rapidly each year, Surfing NSW is excited about the continued growth and development of participants through the program.
Source: Surfing NSW
Author: Ethan Smith
Tags: Indigenous, Groms, Surfing New South Wales