Academy produces world-class surfers
Several outstanding surfers have graduated from Margaret River Senior High School’s Surf Academy, with many hitting the waves in the professional circuit or creating a career around the knowledge they gained in surf and human movement.
Matt Baldock, 27, was one of the first to go through the academy under the guidance of John McTaggart, and graduated from MRSHS in 2008.
He now co-operates Talalla, a surf and yoga retreat in Sri Lanka. “The surf academy for me wasn’t just about surfing. It had a lot more aspects that really helped me through life,” he said.
“John has a massive passion for life, for surfing and for things he believes in.
“His coaching approach to surfing was second-to-none, always very technical and spot on with contest tactics, body preparation and mental preparation.”
Baldock’s close friend Jethro Hedstrom also went through the academy in its early days, and said the support from Mr McTaggart, academy co-originator Scott Cameron and world champion surfer Dave Macaulay was “world-class”.
“In retrospect it’s pretty amazing we had one of WA’s most successful professional surfers, an experienced physio, and a really supportive teacher with a back- ground in sports and nutrition mentoring us as part of a school initiative,” he said.
Macaulay’s four children Ellie, Laura, Bronte and Jack went through the academy, with Bronte continuing her father’s legacy on the world circuit.
Macaulay and fellow local surfer Jacob Willcox, another graduate of the Surf Academy, are a step closer to qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after they were the first surfers to receive individual athlete scholarships from the WA Institute of Sport. Creed McTaggart, who graduated from the academy in 2010, said his father John and Scott Cameron “always had our best interests at heart”.