The event has helped nurture some of the most famous names in the sport and predictions are this year will be no different when Kiama hosts the Australian Junior Surfing Titles in December.
‘‘When I grew up there was never one here [in the Illawarra] and to see it here is one of the best things ever,’’ said Thirroul-based professional Owen Wright.
‘‘I’ll support it 100per cent because there’s a lot of really good, talented people from this area and it’s great to see we can hold a national event that’s going to show off the waves around here.’’
More than 200 surfers will converge on the beachside town for the titles, with divisions ranging from under-12s through to under-18s.
Surfers will be able take advantage of the swell at Werri Beach, Surf Beach, Jones’s Beach and Bombo Beach, with competition taking place from December 1-7.
The opening ceremony has been set down for November 30.
‘‘Kiama is super lucky to have one here as it only comes to NSW every six years and we’ve got so many locations in NSW,’’ said Surfing NSW’s Luke Madden.
‘‘We really wanted to bring something to the South Coast because there hasn’t been anything for ages. It’s pretty awesome to be able to bring something here.’’
Wright added: ‘‘It’s one of those events that gives you a direction. I’ve just done the regionals, now I’ve made it to state and it gives a lot of the groms a goal to start improving.
‘‘It steps up that bit of pressure for them, but there’s also the excitement of competing nationally and also internationally when it goes overseas.
‘‘A lot of kids just thrive on that and I know I did when I went through.’’
Five-time women’s world champion Stephanie Gilmore and former world champion Chelsea Hedges are included on the titles’ honour roll.