Newhaven College celebrated another first for our Surfing Academy with the launch of a set of Handbooks on Wednesday 24 August.
Our Surfing Academy was the first of its kind in Victorian Schools. The Academy was developed to provide students with a structured program and pathway for them to develop skills that could lead to elite performance or employment opportunities in the surf industry.
Four handbooks have been developed by the Head of the Surfing Academy, Andy Neal, and recently retired Head Coach, Mal Gregson. Titled ‘Have A Go’, ‘Out the Back’, ‘Over The Edge’ and ‘The Next Level’, the handbooks provide students of all abilities with focussed goals to help them progress from a complete beginner to a competitive surfer. As students complete each level, they receive a certificate acknowledging their achievement and recognising their mastery of the set skills.
Both Andy and Mal thanked our Principal, Gea Lovell, for her support when they came to her five years ago with the idea of starting the Surfing Academy. Cr Phil Wright, Greg Price (Chair of the Newhaven College Board), Melanie Hibbins (Newhaven College Board), local surfing VIP’s and Newhaven College’s elite surfers also attended the launch.
Guest speaker and Local Member for Bass, Brian Paynter, complemented Gea and Newhaven College for our forethought and innovation in offering surfing as part of a diverse curriculum that keeps students engaged and at school for as long as possible. Sharing his own experience as a beginner surfer, Brian said he learned a lot through reading the handbooks that he will implement on his next surf. He was ‘blown away’ to learn of the success that Newhaven College has recorded in competitive surfing in its short history.
We have amassed 21 State School Individual Championships, six National Pairs Titles and four School Team Title wins. Brock Jeffrey-Warren and Sophie Fletcher have become Victorian Champions, Joe and Nikki van Dijk have Australian Championships to their name, and Nikki is now on the world tour and was the ASP World Junior Champion in 2012 when studying Year 12 at Newhaven.