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Bright Future Ahead For Fijian Surfing

Bright Future Ahead For Fijian Surfing
Fiji Surf Head coach Ian Portingale, national rep Tevita Gukilau and FSA vice-president John Philp on Tavarua Island Resort. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA
July 10
13:29 2016

Former Australian surfing coach Ian Portingale is now the new Fijian Surfing head coach. Portingale, who also represented Australia in his days until 1978, is responsible for creating, implementing training programmes and overseeing the development of coaches, judges, officials and organising of competition within the sport.

He said there is a lot to be done in the sport but the main focus is on the grassroots level.
“We are looking at having a lot of junior development in trying to develop coaching so the coaches develop those earmarked to develop faster and add more international flavour to it,” Portingale said.
“Change is a biggest challenge when it is introduced for the first time. I will be visiting the entire eight board riders club in the country and we can get Fijians more fired up as we of course have the potential to do so.”
Portingale has clinched some great titles and was also the Queensland surfing coaching director.
He would set performance measures, evaluates productivity, and assists other volunteers to create long-term career plans within FSA. With over 10 years experience in surf coaching and coach supervision at national or state level, Portingale certainly has a proven programme development experience.
Fiji Surfing Association (FSA) vice-president John Philp confirmed that Portingale has received his work permit and is now at work.
“He has received his work permit and will be based in Suva and Nadi since there are about seven or eight clubs including those in Sigatoka,” he said. “There are about 200 regular surfers in Fiji and it is about developing young talents and branding of the best sexy waves in Fiji. Fiji as a maritime nation, there is so much potential for Fijian athletes.”
Philp’s comments come after the 2016 Cloudbreak Fiji Pro Wildcard Trials, held Tavarua Island Resort, where the top talents in Fijian surfing fought for a place at the prestigious event.
Tevita Gukilau, 31, won the coveted wildcard entry, but bowed out in the heats at the Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Fiji Pro Championship 2016 at Cloudbreak.
“Fiji is a beautiful country and I am looking at putting Fiji on world map similar showing what Fijians can do in Fiji,” Portingale said.
“Surfing is everything for me; it has been such wonderful thing as you deal with mother nature. This is a legitimate sport for Fiji on the world stage just like rugby.”


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