Sport

Surfing centre opened

Wayne Swan and Justine Elliot talk to Mark Richards (Right) with Andrew Stark.
Wayne Swan and Justine Elliot talk to Mark Richards (Right) with Andrew Stark. John Gass

RICHMOND MP Justine Elliot was joined by the "unofficial minister for surfing" and a long line of surfing legends to open a high-performance centre in Casuarina.

Federal treasurer Wayne Swan, who admitted to his own passion for surfing, was at the launch of Surfing Australia's High Performance Centre.

"It's good to be here," Mr Swan said on arrival.

"It's important to have the centre here.

"Surfing is not just part of our culture its part of our way of life."

Mrs Elliot said the Federal Government committed $2 million to the $4 million centre.

"Australia is one of the most successful surfing nations and investments like this will help maintain that legacy," Mrs Elliot said.

"A faculty like this ensures the whole spectrum of professional surfing is catered for from junior's right through to current world champions to utilise the amazing facilities and training on offer."

The facility featured a surf-specific gym, auditorium, offices, testing and treatment room, accommodation for sixteen and has been designed in consultation with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).

Four-time world champion surfer Mark Richards was at the launch with the next breed of professional surfers who were using the facilities.

"It's absolutely incredible," Mr Richards said.

"Surfing Australia has come a long way from the demountable building it was in when it first started."

Mr Richards said the centre would help to keep Australians at the top of professional surfing ranks.

"You take out Kelly Slater (USA) and Australians have dominated surfing," he said.

"This centre will help us to maintain and protect that lineage."

Topics:  casuarina, high performance centre, justine elliot, surfing, surfing australia, wayne swan


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