• Liam Carroll

Challenge Accepted

CURL CURL – Clear skies, an outgoing tide, and good swell meant the 2021 Lifeline High Schools Surf Challenge was a great way for 14 high school teams to finish one of the wettest weeks on record.

The Lifeline High Schools Surf Challenge is an annual tag-team competition presented by Lifeline Northern Beaches and proudly supported by Northern Beaches Council. Teams compete in boys and girls divisions with teamwork and camaraderie the main focus of the event. “The event was created to bring schools together, encourage teens to discuss mental health and educate how to access support when it's needed,” says David Thomas, CEO of Lifeline Northern Beaches. “I want everyone to know that Lifeline is here to provide support when you need it.”

Lifeline offers free 24-hour support through the national telephone line 13 11 14 and has launched Lifeline Text 0477 13 11 14 to make it easier for teens and young people to seek support.

Lifeline Northern Beaches is holding a youth-focussed support group, Managing Emotions, in collaboration with Headspace in Brookvale. This group will help 16–24-year-olds experiencing anxiety and stress to learn strategies to manage their mood.

“We have also expanded our face-to-face counselling service to include teenagers from 15-years and older. Our youth counselling service is available from Avalon Youth Hub and our office in Balgowlah,” says Mr Thomas.

Back in the water, the calibre of surfing was off the charts. The kids can shred. Sydney’s surfing future is looking phenomenal. And while the ocean may have been coated in chocolate brown thanks to the week-long barrage of storms Sydney bore the brunt of, boys and girls alike tore the 3-4foot lefts and rights apart, making the most of an empty line-up with top to bottom surfing from the outer peaks all the way to a juicy shore break, taking to the air as the wind swung light onshore through the day, turning South Curly into a Friday fun park.

The competition was top notch from all schools, including teams from Forest High School, NBSC Freshwater, NBSC Balgowlah Boys, St Luke's Grammar School, St Paul's Catholic College, NBSC Mackellar, NBSC Cromer, Pymble Ladies’ College and Queenwood School, but congratulations to the 2021 Lifeline Classic winning teams:

- St Luke’s Grammar School in the Boys Division

- Northern Beaches Christian School in the Girls Division

Well done everyone and can’t wait to see more incredible surfing action next year.

For more info about youth counselling at Lifeline Northern Beaches Book Fairs, visit www.lifelinenb.org.au/youth-counselling

If you need immediate support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24/7) or text 0477 13 11 14 (midday-midnight).

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