Surfing Australia: thank you dear Minister

The surfing world has plenty of reasons to be extremely happy. In Australia, the Minister for Sport Mark Arbib granted Surfing Australia extra funding of $1 million per annum for the next four years.

The additional budget will revolutionize the sport in the land of cangurus.

“This new money is the single biggest opportunity surfing has ever had to really make a difference and progress the sport in the areas of grass roots participation development right through to High Performance", said Andrew Stark, CEO of Surfing Australia.

The Australian Government has presented its new vision for sport with the "Pathways to Success" project worth $195 millions.

Surfing Australia believes the financial help will allow a boost programs to further increase benefits to the population as a whole, in a new and exciting era of growth for the sport in the country.

That's why a new Sports Development Manager will be appointed with a clear mandate and a budget to develop the following key priorities:

1. A new junior participation program called “SurfGroms” for children aged 5-12 years
2. Surfing Australia to become a Registered Training Organisation (RTO)
3. National Grassroots Boardriders Club Education Scheme
4. Major Online Education Initiative
5. Indigenous surfing participation programs

The SurfGroms program for children aged 5-12 years will be the flagship participation program to come out of this new funding and presents an amazing opportunity for Surfing Australia to engage thousands of primary aged children and introduce them to the fun and healthy lifestyle that surfing can offer.

The program will be delivered to the community through Surfing Australia’s extensive network of Learn to Surf Schools and Boardriders Clubs. The program will aim to launch in the summer of 2011.

This total additional funding of $1 million dollars per annum is complimented by the recent announcement of the $2 million grant to build the world’s first national surfing High Performance Training Centre at Casuarina Beach, Northern NSW.

This total investment of $6 millions into surfing is the single biggest injection this sport has seen and is crucial in support of Surfing Australia to achieve its vision of becoming a mainstream commercially sustainable sport that promotes surfing as an iconic Australian lifestyle.

Bill Laity: he just loves surfing

The Guinness World Records has had thousands of unusual challenges. Bill Laity, 37, added another one to the list. He simply decided to break the record for the longest continuous surf session, in Huntington Beach, from Saturday to Sunday, in stormy sea conditions.

Laity kicked off his attempt at 5am and fought heavy rain, strong winds and choppy waves. For 26 hours, the passionate surfer took his 5'7'' shortboard and defied the weekend swell.

"I was stressed. I knew everyone had my back and I didn't want to let anyone down", he said.

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Kneeboarding: that is not easy

Kneeboarding is not a very common sport in the world's beaches but, in fact, there are lot of fans and competitors out there.

The truth is more than 200 competitors from 12 countries will competing for the highest trophy, from 19 to 26 March 2011, at Phillip Island, Victoria.

The 2011 ISA World Kneeboard Titles is held every two years and will crown the world champions in the Open division as well as the age divisions that range from Under 16 to Over 60.

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