The eight surfers due to take part in the Juraki Indigenous Team Challenge have been named.
Juraki and the World Surf League (WSL) host the Indigenous Team Challenge on the Gold Coast, ahead of the first World Championship Tour events of the year—the Quicksilver and Roxy Pros.
The surfers are paired with elite WSL athletes in a 16-person teams competition.
Mary Slabb, co-founder of Juraki, said it’s really exciting to see that the young Indigenous surfers have improved dramatically over the last year.
“We have just come from the Wandiyali Indigenous Surf Classic in Newcastle and these kids have all gone next level in their surfing, it’s so exciting to watch,” Slabb said.
The girls’ competition includes defending champion Jalaan Slabb who surfed with World Champion Carissa Moore in 2018’s event.
The opportunity to compete alongside an elite surfer is designed to encourage young Indigenous surfers to continue to work hard.
It also provides networking opportunities. Moore’s father Chris invited the Slabbs to Hawaii to live and train with his family at the end of last year, an experience the family grabbed with both hands.
Jalaan and Mary (her Mum) spent ten days learning from the Moores at Carissa’s home break and surrounds.
Carissa Moore helped Jalaan with huge range of her skills, but said the most invaluable thing is to spend time travelling to learn how to read new surf breaks.
“One of the hardest things in my career is being able to show-up and figure out the break,” Carissa told the National Indigenous Times.
Seven other young athletes will be looking forward to the chance to learn from world class athletes and soaking up as much as they can while in their presence for a day.
Jalaan Slabb, 14, FINGAL HEAD NSW
Leihani Zoric, 6, BYRON BAY NSW
Bodhi Simon, 12, PORT KEMBLA NSW
Kyra Simon, 16, FORSTER NSW
Will Simon, 18, FORSTER NSW
Julung Slabb, 15, FINGAL HEAD NSW
Zane Silvester, 14, PALM BEACH QLD
Jed McDonagh, 16, FORSTER
The Juraki Indigenous Team Challenge takes place on the day before the Quicksilver Pro on April 2nd.
By Keiran Deck