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He’s been crowned the best Ironman over a series an incredible 9 times over a career already destined to be remembered as one of the greatest we have seen, and now Shannon Eckstein has set his eyes on encouraging the next generation of surf sport athletes.

Next Monday 16 January the superstar competitor will bring his considerable knowledge and wealth of experiences to Bulli Beach for an all-day Ironman clinic.

Bulli SLSC President and a handy surf sport competitor himself Keith Caldwell believes it’s a fantastic opportunity for the youngsters.

“This is the fourth years we have held it at Bulli and it really is a blast with everyone always having a good time,” said Keith Caldwell.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for not just Illawarra youngsters but for all those passionate about improving their skills in surf competition.

“In the past we have had a participant from Broulee on the Far South Coast and regularly have kids from as far as Sydney, Central Coast, and Newcastle come down and it’s a chance for them to spend some time in the water of a different beach which will help them in future competitions,” he said.

Targeted at those between the age groups of 10-17 the idea to create the clinic was spearheaded by Eckstein about five years ago.

“Shannon was really keen to give something back but he never really had the time with his own training commitments. Now we travel all around the country and have delivered about 20 of these clinics since we started,” said Dan Norton-Smith Currumbin surf club coach and also the coach of champion Ironwoman Liz Pluimers.

The experienced taskmaster who will be on hand to share his knowledge during the course said program participants can expect a full program.

“Bulli is a good location and our previous days have been good. They’ve always been well attended, and the kids really thrive on it,” said Norton-Smith.

“It really is a full package and a hard day of training. We do a lot of technique and video analysis of everyone’s board paddling. In addition we pass on tips of race strategies, psychology and the importance of proper nutrition.

“Shannon is in his element the kids hang off every word because they know that he has been there and done that. It’s a great thing to see,” he said.


Friday 13 January 2017