GALLERY: Leihani surfs alongside her heroes
LOOKING like an angel and surfing like a demon it all came together for six-year-old Leihani Zoric yesterday at the WSL Juraki Teams Challenge, one of the curtain raiser events at the Quiksilver Pro taking place on the Gold Coast this week.
Leihani was one of four girls and four boys taking part in the Juraki program that sees young indigenous surfers learn more about their culture, dance in the opening ceremony and hang out with all the big guns in the competion area.
Each was paired with a professional mentor- Leihani was paired with Rookie of the Year Macy Callaghan- and she surfed her way into third place in the Teams Challenge at this year's event.
She met her idol Carissa Moore and caught up with fellow Byron Boardriders Club member Soli Bailey who was there to compete in the Quiksilver Pro.
It's a big year for Soli, breaking into the World Tour for the 2019 season but also choosing to compete this year in a jersey that highlights his own Indigenous heritage.
Leihani's great- grandfather is a Yued elder from Wedge Island in Western Australia.
"Juraki is designed to highlight Indigenous surf culture and support local Indigenous surfers,” Organiser Mary Slabb said. "This is a learning process, a way for these young surfers to see what is possible- to know they can be anything they want to be.”