Our Elite Youth coaching trip to the Sunshine Coast, Australia was a week of intense training, surfing plus a trip to visit crocodiles at Steven Irwin’s Zoo.
The trip showed us that some serious skills and talent is required to endure the tough training provided at OPC (Ocean Performance Centre). For the next trip we would run a few more tests here in Fiji to make sure all the surfers are up to the required standard needed to receive the full training experience at OPC. A total of 7 junior surfers made it along for the journey, however there were a few junior surfers who missed out on the trip but would have been much better suited to the training.
We were lucky to make it back to Fiji, with a snag at the Fiji Airways check-in desk at Brisbane Airport, where an $1,200 excess baggage charge meant the extra surf boards gifted to us by all the families the kids were housed with, may have had to stay behind in Australia.
It’s usually the case as a coach that we are expected to know everything about the sport we teach, but I’m glad to say on this trip I learnt many new coaching techniques as well as a few new tips. I’m willing to try out some of these new methods; I have a new view on surfing, especially around how
technical surfing can be.
My next big project (still on a board but with wheels) is a skate boarding park. The surfers were quick to adapt to skateboarding, from what I’ve seen surfers have a natural talent on all boards especially when it comes to skating. We should be looking towards building Fiji’s first skate park,
that’s what I’ll be putting my energy into over the upcoming months. I am already in talks with experts in Melbourne who are looking to fly over and help build a skate park. Especially here in Nadi where there isn’t normally any surf, it would be great if surfers had a place to continue improving their surfing skills, on land with skate boarding instead.
A big thank you to everyone who made the trip possible including : Mark Stitt, Ian Portingale, all the staff of the Ocean Performance Centre, all the Australian families who helped accommodate us for the week, and the FSA. Sponsorship for the airfares came from Bob Hurley – a big thank you to Bob.
Godfrey Eaton… Sept 2015