Juniors get to earn their spot in high performance program

Students from Central Coast Surf Academy


Surfing NSW is rolling out their new NSW Junior High Performance Program, which will provide NSW’s top junior male and female surfers with a pathway and resources to reach their full potential.

The team for the program is selected based on their results at the NSW State Titles with the top eight men and top six women from the U18s, U16, and U14s to be selected.

The top seven men and top five women from the Woolworths Surfers Grom Series will also be selected for the program.

The program consists of two state camps with one three-day camp taking place at the Surfing Australia High Performance Centre and a one-day camp taking place at URBN Surf in Melbourne.

Surfing NSW spokesperson and Shelly Beach local, Ethan Smith, said the program aims to further develop the skills of promising surfers.

“Each surfer participating in the program has earned their spot, and the program is basically a talent identification program where participants will be working with some of the best coaches to further hone their skills.

“The program is open to any junior surfers who show promise in competitions, and we find our participants through our network of Surf Clubs through NSW.

“All the board riding clubs feed up surfers who are competing, so it really starts at a grassroots level and works the surfers up to amateur levels.

“Some Coast surfers who have participated in the program include Nate Hopkins from Norah Head, and Byron Stapleton from Avoca,” Smith said.

The 2021/22 program includes team training camps, digital team catch-ups, guest speakers, wildcard allocations, Lean Performance Gym subscription, an exclusive team uniform and money-can’t buy opportunities.

The program aligns with the Surfing Australia High-Performance talent pathway with the overarching goal of developing NSW’s top junior and grommet surfers to become the best surfers they can be.

Central Coast Surf Academy Coach, Amee Donohoe, said that programs like the NSW Junior High Performance Program are great for junior surfers looking at going pro.

“It’s a great program for junior surfers, and the level of expertise that the coaches have will be really beneficial to anyone who is involved in the program.

“In terms of what a surfer gets out of the program really depends on their age and dedication and figuring out where they want to end up.

“It’s all about using the right coach that will get the very best out of the surfer.

“I have worked with a lot of students who have gone through similar programs who are now qualifying for the World Surf League.

“Programs like this are also great as they have the best of the best together and I think it’s really beneficial for the juniors to be able to compare themselves to other surfers,” Donohoe said.

The Surfing NSW Junior High Performance Program will run from December 2021 until April 2022 and is supported by Mambo, Blackroll, Musashi, Lean Performance Gym, and Ocean and Earth.

Harry Mulholland