A HOST of Federal MPs threw on their boardies and headed onto Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra last week for stand-up paddleboard (SUP) lessons with Narooma’s very own SUP specialist Andrew “Macca” McCaughtrie.
Joining Macca in giving the pollies surf lessons was seven-time world champion Layne Beachley, who was there on behalf of Surfing Australia.
Last Monday’s SUP session was part of the annual Parliament Sports Festival and Sport for Women Day and marked the launch of the Friends of Surfing Parliamentary Group.
The story even made to Page 3 of a Sydney metro newspaper and it is hoped that getting the pollies into surfing will see the profile of the sport raised and more funds flowing to Surfing Australia’s grassroots programs.
Macca is the owner and head coach of new Narooma-based business South Coast Standup Paddleboarding and he also did his best to promote Narooma as a great SUP and surfing destination.
“SUP is the fastest growing sport around the world and it would be great to see some of the pollies come down to Narooma to get on our beautiful waters,” he said, noting that he plastered “Narooma how life should be” stickers all over his boards for the pollies to see.
“A great day was had by all, and it was good to see our nation’s leaders out there having a go.”
Unlike wave surfing, SUP can be physically done by 90 per cent of the population, even those inland on any kind of water.
Joining Macca for the trip up to Canberra was assistant coach Dean Loudoun, business administrator and photographer Leichelle McCaughtrie and life saver Lewis Robertson on water safety.
Macca got the gig through his connections with Surfing Australia and because of the quality and professionalism of his business.
Surfing Australia chief executive Andrew Stark said the Parliament Sports Festival was a great way to engage Federal MPs with a range of sports and demonstrate the benefits of sport and a healthy lifestyle.
“It was great to get out on the lake and enjoy some stand-up paddleboarding with Federal MPs,” Stark said.
“It was our way of bringing surfing to Canberra and engaging with Federal MPs and certainly we were in safe hands with our coaches and seven-time world champ Layne Beachley!”
Parliament Sports Club chief executive Andy Turnbull said he was delighted to have been able to add stand-up paddleboarding to the range of sporting activities available at the festival.
“Lake Burley Griffin was an ideal location and we look forward to seeing more members on boards at the next festival,” he said.
“Stand-up paddleboarding is a great way to engage in a healthy outdoor sporting activity.”
Surfing Australia affiliated surf school South Coast Standup Paddleboarding offers small classes and private lessons on the wonderful and diverse waters of Narooma, teaching the basics of SUP right through to advanced paddleboarding.
The next couple of months provide perfect conditions for beginners wanting to learn to SUP, with Wagonga Inlet providing warm water and mild winds, much better than Lake Burley Griffin that one the day was apparently a bit warm and murky.
For booking enquiries, phone Macca on 0456 366 845.