Program proves surfings universal appeal

THE local Arakwal Aboriginal community are people of the sea, so it's no surprise that the Burra Jurra Surf Program has grown, with 30 Aboriginal children from the region joining up and more top surfers chipping in to pass on their expert knowledge.

Steve Foreman set up the program with the local Arakwal community and to keep it going this summer they've secured funding from the UK-based Laureus Sport for Good Foundation with a little help from Layne Beachley, whom Mr Foreman used to coach.

"Surfing for these kids is immense," said Mr Foreman. "It doesn't matter if you're an indigenous person or a white person, surfing supersedes breed, creed and race - surfers are one tribe regardless."

Indigenous professional surfer Joe Haddon made the trip from Forster recently and ex-professional surfer and two-time Australian junior champion Jock Barnes pitched in.

"It's hugely rewarding," Mr Barnes said.

"I get a big thrill out of letting anyone see the ocean from my point of view and overcome their own boundaries and their own fears." "The kids are really excited because a lot of them have never surfed before, so being out there in the water with surf coaches gives them the courage and the confidence to be able to get out there and have a go," said Delta Kay from the Arakwal community.

"The reward is the smiles on all the kids' faces and when we've had a fun day like today."

If anyone wants get involved, contact Steve Foreman on 6685 1855.



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