Surf dream a reality
SIX-year-old Leihani Zoric will be living out her surfing dream when she takes part in the Juraki Indigenous Team Challenge as part of the Quiksilver Pro in April on the Gold Coast.
She is one of four girls and four boys taking part in the program that sees young surfers learn more about Indigenous culture and dance in the opening ceremony.
They also get to hang out with all the big name competitors and are paired up with a professional mentor- and that's not to mention all the surfing they get to do in the comp.
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.” Leihani is excited to be selected and doubly so when there is the chance she may meet Marcus Aboody, Carissa Moore or Jalaan Slabb, her favourite surfers.
She also wanted to give a big shout out to her surf coach James Woods, President of the Le-Ba Boardriders
"I have been surfing since I was born,” Leihani said.
"My favourite thing about surfing is hanging out with my dad, Clay, and the dolphins.”
Leihani's mum, Kirsty, is Women's co-ordinator for the Byron Bay Boardriders Club.
"This is a huge opportunity for her at such a young age,” she said.
"Our mob come from Western Australia but I grew up here and I am losing that connection to over there so its great to be accepted here for the Juraki Comp.
"I started off at Indigenous comps up at Fingal Head before Leihani was born and now its her turn to be a part of it all.”