Surfing Australia’s Mark Richards, Richmond MP Justine Elliot, Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan, seven-time world surfing champion Layne Beachley and Surfing Australia chief executive Andrew Stark gather to see the first sod of soil turned at the Surfing Australia High Performance Centre.
Surfing Australia’s Mark Richards, Richmond MP Justine Elliot, Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan, seven-time world surfing champion Layne Beachley and Surfing Australia chief executive Andrew Stark gather to see the first sod of soil turned at the Surfing Australia High Performance Centre. Scott Powick

Surfing HQ on way

TWEED surfers have always claimed to have the best breaks on their doorstep.

But with the turning of the sod of the world's first high-performance surfing centre at Casuarina on Saturday, they will soon have a $2 million training facility at their fingertips as well.

It was the warm water and beautiful climate of the Tweed Coast, along with the proximity of the Gold Coast Airport, that led Surfing Australia to choose Casuarina as the prime location.

Then, with the donation of land by Surfing Australia board member Don O'Rourke and a $2 million Federal Government grant, the pieces of the puzzle fell together. Surfing Australia chief executive Andrew Stark said the centre was the surfing world's answer to the Australian Institute of Sport.

"The Tweed Coast should be ecstatic," Mr Stark said.

"The young surfers in the area have a significant advantage and we'll be doing a lot with the local community."

The surfing-specific facility will have a gym, auditorium, treatment centre for physiotherapy and massage as well as a boardroom and accommodation for 20 people, so the complex can host touring groups.

If all goes to plan the facility should open in May next year.


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