Surf’s up for Casuarina Beach centre


Justine Elliot with Chelsea Hedges, 2005 World Surfing Champion and Surfing Coach at the Centre

Australia’s reputation as a leading surfing nation received a big boost yesterday with the announcement of $600,000 in federal funding for Surfing Australia’s Hurley High Performance Centre and – its new internet TV channel.

Minister for sport, Senator Don Farrell, announced $350,000 to complete stage two of the Centre at Casuarina Beach.

Minister assisting for innovation, industry and the digital economy, Kate Lundy, also announced a $250,000 new media grant to develop

The High Performance Centre is a purpose-built facility designed to deliver better training programs for elite surfers and coaches, as well as professional development courses in conjunction with tertiary institutions.

The new funding will allow Surfing Australia to add a dedicated sports science and research area, including a sports science testing room, training and treatment rooms. Senator Farrell said the Centre will be at the forefront of surfing sports science and coaching development and will ensure Australia maintains its place as a world leader in the sport. ‘Surfing Australia’s innovative approach to the development of surfing in Australia has increased the uptake of surfing as both a sport and a lifestyle,’ said Senator Farrell. ‘The additional funding for this world-class Centre will support athletes and coaches through the provision of cutting-edge training programs. The Australian government is proud to offer support to ensure surfing continues to prosper in Australia.’

Construction is expected to begin in August 2013 and be completed by November 2013.

Minister Lundy said Surfing Australia was embracing the digital age and that will ensure surfing continues to connect with new generations of young Australians in new and innovative ways. ‘The rise in popularity of lifestyle, adventure and alternative sports, particularly with younger generations, has been well documented and initiatives such as this are needed to entice new interest’, said Minister Lundy.

The funding is in addition to $2 million provided to Surfing Australia in the 2010–2011 Budget for the construction of the Centre, which was officially opened in 2012 by federal member for Richmond, Justine Elliot, and federal member for Lilley, Wayne Swan.

As one of the driving forces behind the creation of the world-first High Performance Centre, Mr Swan expressed confidence that the next stage of the Centre would further support Aussie surfers on the world stage.

Ms Elliot said the new facilities and extra funding would benefit the local surfing community and businesses as well as shore up Australia’s success as a global surfing success. ‘A facility like this ensures the whole spectrum of professional surfing is catered for from juniors right through to current world champions to utilise the amazing facilities and training on offer,’ she said.


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