February 8, SYDNEY, NSW: The sport of surfing and its healthy lifestyle will no longer be the preserve of those privileged enough to live on or near the beach, a cross section of NSW Parliamentarians heard today.
Sydney’s first artificial wave park, dubbed URBNSURF Sydney at Sydney Olympic Park, is due to open in Autumn providing a platform for elite competition and training and, just as importantly, a venue for thousands of people in Sydney’s western suburbs to learn to surf.
Members of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Surfing, co-chaired by the Labor Member for Newcastle, Tim Crakanthorp, and the Liberal Member for Manly James Griffin were briefed by Surfing NSW and URBNSURF at Parliament House.
“I grew up surfing and it is still one of my favourite activities to stay fit and clear my mind. The URBNSURF facility is going to make surfing more accessible and spread the joy of surfing further than ever before,” said Mr Crakanthorp.
URBNSURF CEO, Damon Tudor, told the gathering that “When we first wanted to launch a wave park here in Australia, we wanted to launch one from the start in Sydney’s West. To see that dream and vision come to life is really exciting. We can’t wait to provide everyone with the best waves and the most inclusive surf session they can imagine whether it be your first time on a board or as an experienced surfer.”
Surfing NSW Chairman, John O’Neill, said: “This incredible new facility will introduce so many people in Sydney’s western suburbs to our sport and its lifestyle.”
More than 20 parliamentarians were also introduced to Surfing NSW’s new CEO, Mr Lucas Townsend, a former news and surf journalist who went on to become a partnership and commercial manager for surf athletes and businesses.
“I’m stoked to see that a new URBNSURF Sydney Boardriders Club will join the ranks of our 130 clubs, the heart and soul of our network, already running events on weekends along our 2,000 kilometres of NSW coastline,” he said.
Parliamentarians who attended the briefing: Tim Crakanthorp, Member for Newcastle; James Griffin, Member for Manly; Yasmin Catley, Member for Swansea; Tamara Smith, Member for Ballina; Donna Davis, Member for Parramatta; Clayton Barr, Member for Cessnock; Michael Kemp, Member for Oxley; Jason Li, Member for Strathfield; Geoff Provest, Member for Tweed; Michael Regan, Member for Wakehurst; Liesl Tesch, Member for Gosford Tanya Thompson, Member for Myall Lakes; and Phil Donato, Member for Orange.