Surfing students off to European championships

Two surfers from Pool Academy have been selected to take part in European championships.

Tom Catten, Year 8, and Xander Harris, Year 9, have been selected as members of the England Bodyboarding Under 16s team to represent the country at the ESF EURO Juniors in July.

The boys were chosen to take part in the U16 Boys Bodyboard division of the championships after they were watched training at Fistral Beach, in Newquay, on Saturday.

Xander said: “I have never competed in a surfing competition abroad before. I am looking forward to it.

Tom and Xander

Tom and Xander

“I have been bodyboarding for about 12 months but got into it seriously about six months ago. Most of my family like to do it.”

The championships are being held in Portugal. The boys will spend 10 days out there so they can get used to the waves before the competition takes place.

Tom said: “I was happy when I found out I had been chosen. I like surfing and have been doing it for about a year and a half. I do it nearly every day. It feels natural to me.

“I am a bit nervous about taking part in the championships in Portugal.”

A letter sent to Tom from Surfing England read: “The management team have been hugely impressed by your commitment to both training camps and competitions, UK and internationally. We feel that you have made noticeable improvements both in and out of the water and have gained vital knowledge from the trained professionals involved in the 2018 programme, and therefore helping improve you as an elite athlete.”

Anna Catten, said: “It is an amazing opportunity and he is really delighted about it. He has worked hard to get this place. As a family we are extremely proud of him.”

Christiana Richardson