A new generation of surfers will be riding high into Olympic contention with the opening today of the $6 million expansion of the Surfing Australia Hurley High Performance Centre in Casuarina.

Sports Minister Stuart Ayres and Member for Tweed Geoff Provest today joined surfing greats Layne Beachley, Joel Parkinson and Mark Richards along with Surfing Australia CEO Andrew Stark to officially open the elite centre.

“Surfing is ingrained into the sporting psyche of Australia, so it is fitting that the NSW Government has been able to make such an important contribution to the future international success of our surfers,” Mr Ayres said.

“The opening of this centre is perfect timing as our world class athletes prepare for surfing’s debut as an Olympic sport at the Tokyo 2020 Games.”

The expansion was made possible thanks to a $3 million contribution from the NSW Government, $2.54 million from the Federal Government and $500,000 from Surfing Australia.

Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said he was an early supporter of the idea and was pleased to see the centre take shape.

“Surfing is synonymous with the Tweed and Gold Coast and the importance of the sport to our region cannot be overstated. This centre will provide our surfers with the edge needed for competitive success,” Mr Provest said.

Surfing Australia Elite Program Manager Bede Durbidge said: “The expansion to our High Performance Centre will make a huge difference to both our current elite athletes, and the many talented young surfers in the system. It would not have been possible without the generous support of the many stakeholders who have contributed to the expansion.”

The expansion includes a bigger and better AIS Aerial Surf Skate Training Facility, a 100-seat auditorium, 11 new accommodation rooms and a significantly expanded world class gymnasium.

The opening of the expanded High Performance Centre is also a significant moment in the partnership between Surfing Australia and the NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS), which was established last year to provide access to the Institute’s proven history of Olympic success and expertise.

Surfing Australia National High Performance Director Kim Crane said: “The partnership with NSWIS has allowed us to utilise invaluable high performance expertise and resources. The expansion opened today will allow us to continue and improve this work as we look towards Tokyo and beyond.”