A $3.2 million world first surfing facility has been officially launched on the Southern Gold Coast.
Federal Minister for Sport Kate Ellis was joined by Member for Richmond Justine Elliot and Surfing Australia CEO Andrew Stark to launch the project, which will see Surfing Australia develop the national training facility in 2011.
The surfing industry injects around $3 billion annually into the local economy. The Quiksilver Pro is also hosted here, attracting an influx of domestic and international tourists
The Federal Government will contribute up to $2 million to construct the world’s first dedicated surf training facility, spurring confidence in the Southern Gold Coast’s tourism and building industry.
Despite it being seen as election campaign pork-barrelling, Connecting Southern Gold Coast (CSGC) general manager Jim Wilson, says the surfing industry is a major economic driver in the southern district and any government support must be met with open arms.
“The Gold Coast’s North Tweed region is the largest surfboard manufacturing hub in the world,” says Wilson.
“People can often forget that that the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) international headquarters is in Coolangatta, Surfing Australia’s office is in Coolangatta and the ASP World Tour begins with the Quicksilver Pro at Snapper Rocks.
“Forgetting about the state border as we’re all Australians – the reality is that this is the part of the world that defines surfing culture and industry and any actions that lead to further employment and promotion of surfing in the region should be widely encouraged.”
Prior to tomorrow’s official event, a Surfing Australia spokesperson says access to the state-of the art facilities and specialist programs will support Australia’s elite athlete development pathway and maintain the country’s reputation as the surfing capital of the world.
The Casuarina Beach location was chosen for its close proximity to the world-class Gold Coast point breaks, but enough distance away to allow training and coaching in idyllic conditions with uncrowded waves.
An array of former world surfing champions including local favourite and world title contender Joel Parkinson and seven time women’s champion Layne Beachley helped launch the initiative.
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