- 23 August 2010 | Surfing
Indigenous children from across NSW were today treated to day not to soon be forgotten, learning to surf and rubbing shoulders with one of Australia’s greatest ever sportsman.
Run as part of the Country Energy Australian Surf Festival, the Surfing NSW Indigenous Surf Day, saw 55 Indigenous children from Tamworth, Kempsey, Nambucca Heads, Bowraville, Taree and Port Macquarie learning vital skills about water safety and experiencing the art of surfing.
Also on hand was former Wallaby great, and newly appointed Patron of the Surfing NSW Indigenous Surfing Program, Mark Ella.
“Today was a great day,” he said. “I get a buzz out of seeing the kids so excited,” he continued.
“To witness them standing up on a surfboard for the first time is a really special thing.”
With a famed career on the international sporting arena, Ella and Surfing NSW will be combining to address a number of vital community needs for coastal indigenous individuals.
“By using surfing as a vehicle we can promote a healthy lifestyle and fun with a lot of these kids,” he said.
“Days like today act as a great inspiration for these kids.”
Country Energy and Surfing NSW have a had a strong relationship in bringing together Indigenous communities on the mid north coast of NSW to enjoy surfing, whilst promoting water safety and fun.
Country Energy's regional general manager Mid North Coast, Brian Mclean said the event provided a unique opportunity for young people with an Indigenous background to learn new skills and try a new sport.
"We're committed to adding value to the communities in which we live and this event is a fantastic opportunity for these kids to see the beach and learn about a sport many of them have never tried before.”
"We're a strong supporter of many different Indigenous events throughout NSW which is an extension of our strong Indigenous employment program which has seen more than 120 Indigenous employees join Country Energy since 2001 - helping Country Energy create a workforce that truly represents our customer base in cultural diversity," he said.