Freeride ...where are ya ?
I'd just written a post regarding Freerides interesting notion that the welfare state of Australia had previously provided a fecund environment for a nation of young rippers to develop their skills to the point of competitive world dominance when the thread was closed.
But I liked the thinking.
So where to from here .
Do we reintroduce a stipend for every keen young grommet to pursue the holy grail of Olympic Gold , Gold , Gold for Australia ?
Sidestep the overwhelming and oppresive bureaucracy of the Institute of Sport , with their total ignorance of surf culture ?
Fuck off altogether the semi - deleterious uber fascists of Surfing Australia ?
Seems like any money spent towards surfing as a competitive notion is best putting every surfer on a beach on a daily basis and letting the cream rise to the top .
Is the dole the best thing that happened to Australian surfing on the world stage ?
In preparations for the Olympics, there was an announcement a few days ago: Surfing Australia has just received government funding to the tune of $5.536 million to expand the High Performance Centre at Casuarina.
The Federal Govt has kicked in $2.536 million whilst the NSW State Govt has contributed $3.0m.
I assume this is in addition to the $3m+ they receive annually in government funding.
The expansion includes (as per press release):
· Underground parking for 18 vehicles
· Bigger and better AIS Aerial Surf Skate Training Facility
· Significantly expanded and improved world class gymnasium
· 100 seat auditoriums
· Larger coaching and treatment room facilities
· 11 new accommodation rooms with double beds and ensuites
· New large dining and kitchen area
· Office space that will also house the entire Surfing Australia staff
Most interesting point here is that the Surfing Aust - initially based at Casuarina in the mid-2000's following many years at Burleigh Heads - was lured to the Gold Coast in 2009 (next door to the ASP, then WSL at the Showcase building). But now they're back at Casuarina.
It may only be eighteen kays by road, but the interstate relocation of Surfing Australia's HQ probably has something to do with the $3m received from the NSW State Government.
If there's one thing that the cutting edge of surfing needs in order to stay razor sharp it's 100 seat auditoriums.
Always has been, not what, but who you know ;)
Most of the Mick Fannings and Jack Robinsons are pro before they are old enough to get the dole. But its good for the rest of us.
Olympic drug-testing. Does it cover the same ground as our 'dole bludging' tests?
Performance-inhibiting drugs like opioids, MDMA, even weed?
You do the meth.