Surfing Taranaki Secure High Performance Centre.
When it comes to board riders clubs the Taranaki region is the envy of all others; with prime beach front club room facilities that offers a great place for the community to mix and mingle and get right in behind their sport and the future generations. Under the Surfing Taranaki umbrella sit four main clubs which are lucky enough to have clubrooms occupying prime Real Estate at Waitara, Fitzroy Beach, Oakura Beach and Opunake Beach, all looking straight into the lineups out front. Surfing Taranaki are the ones that brought the Women’s World Tour event, the WQS, Pro Junior and Grom comps to NZ, holding these events over five years at the breaks around New Plymouth. Recently an opportunity came forth to secure their very own building right on Fitzroy Beach which will launch their latest initiative, a high-performance training centre, where talented surfers will be welcomed to immerse themselves into the pathways to better their surfing. We caught up with Surfing Taranaki President and NZ surfing legend Jason Mathews for a little background behind the concept.
Can you give us a little background behind this facility?
All the clubs in our region are very strong and they are all doing their bit to support the community with surf lessons and introducing new participants into the sport, especially young kids. In line with that the pathway goes on into local competitions, for those that want to have a taste of what competition surfing’s like. Then from there Surfing Taranaki has seen an opportunity for those that are showing promise, to provide a stepping stone and pathways. Over the last few years we’ve had high performance coaching where we have flown in experts from High Performance Australia, sourced funding and offered these stepping stones for these surfers to improve their skills. At ST we are very lucky that we have had great support from our local community and businesses to see the level of exposure of high quality surfers to our region. So, moving forward we saw an opportunity to secure an old ablution block that was looking to be torn down, so we could provide a neutral space out from the clubrooms themselves, and this was the perfect opportunity to grab something that was going to be demolished and forever lost and to secure it for surfing. So after many submissions, consultations and campaigning councillors to vote in our favour. They were well aware of the initiatives we have launched into our community and along with our vision to offer continued development of aspiring young competitors, we secured their vote and now have a facility to begin working with.
And how will this centre operate?
We are hoping and looking into how we can, rather than flying Australians over here for their expertise, develop the skills here internally, where we can have someone working here to provide the pathways for these competitive kids. There will be a workshop room where our coaching courses will be run, and we will offer the latest coaching software technology, as well as having showers and kitchen, as well as being a place identified talent can work on their surfing, and this will be available to surfers from all over the country. We will also be developing coaches themselves to further spread our support network. We are right into anything that contributes positively to surfing and we all live and breathe it and see this concept as a positive move, and along with what the clubs in the region do, it’s providing a further opportunity.