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Byron Shire
October 28, 2021

Phyllis visits Lennox All Girls

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Legends of the waves, Phyllis O’Donnell and Steph Gilmore in 2009. Photo Eve Jeffery.
Legends of the waves, Phyllis O’Donnell and Steph Gilmore in 2009. Photo Eve Jeffery.

The Lennox Head All Girls Surfriders will be hosting a stall at the Love Lennox Festival. The stall is a fundraiser for the club and their favourite charity Disabled Surfers Association.

During the festival there will be a Surfboard Swap Meet. This event is organised to provide regional surfers and surfboard collectors an outlet to buy, sell and trade as well as to network with the broader community.

The stall will also proudly display the Ma Bendall / Phyllis O’Donnell Memorial Shield, which All Girls Surfriders have won for the last two years.

Then on Sunday, the All Girls will host the Ma Bendall / Phyllis O’Donnell Inter-club Tag Team Challenge.

This event runs annually and this year the club is excited to announce that the legendary and inspiring Phyllis O’Donnell, now in her 80s, will present the shield to the winning club.

In 1964, at the age of twenty-seven, Phyllis O’Donnell won the first-ever world championship in women’s surfing. For her efforts, apart from the glory, she won $250, a surfboard and numerous packets of cigarettes.

When Phyllis entered the sport, it was dominated by men, some of whom, she recalls, would take aim at her while she was paddling out to catch waves.

The All Girls Surfriders Lennox Head, the Mid North Coast Girl Surfriders and the Sunshine Coast Girl Surfriders will compete for the chance to take home the shield

The Love Lennox Festival is on this Saturday 6 June and the surfing event starts from 7am on Sunday and is expected to run until noon at the latest.


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