Paddle Against Poverty
Event brings surfers together in Coledale Australia
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 18 April, 2012 : - - The surf was pumping and the sun beating down as the paddlers for the twelfth annual Paddle Against Poverty arrived one-by-one bright and early on the morning of Saturday April 14. As is usual for the event, the diversity of paddlers quickly became apparent when tiny, 13-year-old bodyboarder Darcy King registered directly before a group of much larger and older Bulli boys, including Sandon Point Boardriders president Jason Gava, a veteran of the pro surfing tour. They in turn were followed up by India Davis and Sophie Peatman, two 14-year-old girls, both of whom have only recently taken up surfing.
Pushing through the waves and out far beyond the curious surfers, the group started paddling south with an easy north-westerly wind blowing at their back, exactly as forecast and precisely what was needed. However, heading straight across the front of Coalcliff, a big south-westerly kicked up right in everyone's face, leaving the stand-up paddlers especially concerned. "Paddling against the wind on one of these things is virtually impossible, you're basically a sail," experienced paddler Brett Jones stated. Thankfully the breeze was short-lived and an even stronger north-westerly kicked up at the southern end of the Sea Cliff Bridge pushing everyone along speedily.
The paddle was completed in record time with all 40 paddlers arriving on the beach in Thirroul shortly after 10:30am from an 8am start. For the sake of safety the group always sticks together with stragglers receiving a short tow to keep up with the faster paddlers. This year there were few tows required though as most completed the approximate 15km with their own two arms burning with each stroke. "It's hurting, but I'm determined not to get a tow this year!" stated 15-year-old bodyboarder Jack Morgan of Thirroul as he paddled past the half-way point of Sharkey's Beach in Coledale.
It was once again a great event that could not have been possible without the gracious support of the Coledale SLSC and Volunteer Coast Guard giving up their time, along with the ever-faithful Dickie Barton bringing 'Percy B' for the 12th year in a row! Each year a lot of effort is put in by many to make the paddle happen, from the organising, to the safety and water support, land support, and especially those digging their arms in and those sponsoring the paddlers.
Chris Homer of Warilla Beach had only heard of the paddle the night before through a Facebook status update, yet organised a board and ventured north, "It's a very well run event. It's an exciting adventure and for such a great cause, I'll be bringing plenty more people from down my way next year!" he stated.
Close to $5000 has been raised so far and this will be split between three causes. It will first cover the sponsorship of 5 children for the coming year through Compassion Australia, providing them with food, education, shelter and clothing. The rest of the money will be split between Elevate Bali, who enable indigenous Indonesians to work with and educate the poor within their own communities, and local surfer Jamie Maguire, who is battling cancer. We are stoked to see the surf community of our area, who are blessed to live in such a safe and beautiful place, gather together to give back to those less fortunate.
It's a mission for everyone, but well worth the life-enablement provided for the children who so desperately need it, and we want to send out a huge thank-you to all those involved! Special thanks to Christian Surfers Australia, Matt Jolley Builders, Harvey's Gourmet Butchery, Samuel's Restaurant, Laww Media and Luke Avenue for their contributions, as well as Coledale paddler Scott Newland who earned himself a voucher for Samuel's Restaurant in Thirroul for raising the most donations!
Donations are still welcome! We'd love to see these impoverished children, the Indonesian surfing community and Jamie Maguire further supported. You can donate by direct deposit to Christian Surfers Australia, BSB: 036123, Acc No: 296619 and note 'PAP Gong'.
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Source: Christian Surfers
Author: Aaron Hughes
Tags: Paddle Against Poverty,