Surfing WA is welcoming $4 million from the Labor government to build new headquarters and training facilities at Trigg beach.
According to Surfing WA chief executive Mark Lane, the current headquarters are passed their use-by date and this money will help provide better change rooms, more office space and storage for equipment.
“We put 32,000 kids through here a year and it means there will be slightly more private change rooms and equipment storage. We have equipment stored all around the state, so we will be able to house a lot more of it in one facility,” Mr Lane says.
WA Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray believes it will enable local surfers to benefit from new training facilities and water safety programs.
“The major thing these upgrades are about is that the 170,000 people who surf regularly will now have a home they can call their own,” he says.
Surfing WA moved into their current building in 1996 and the organisation is growing, with surfing becoming a more popular sport among school kids.
Since 2012 Mr Lane has been looking at options for upgrading the headquarters.
“Right now, we are working out of a converted kiosk and there are some capacity constraints here,” he says.
“In 2012 we looked at options and some of those were to do nothing, to move away from the beach or to extend our current facility, so we costed them out to see if it was possible.”
President of WaveWalkers Longboard Club Brett Madalena says it’s a great initiative and benefit to the surfing community.
“It will give Surfing WA the ability to hold more training sessions … we will take advantage of the increased size and better facilities,” he says.
Mr Lane says Surfing WA deals with 78 high schools and primary schools in the area so a newer facility will be highly beneficial.
Mr Murray says local residents will benefit because they can receive their first aid qualifications and other training.
“The grommets will be able to be managed in and out of the water and will be able to surf safely into the future.”