Conquering a double knee operation, a wheel chair and 10 months out of action, Brad Harrington has fought his way back to claim this year's title of WA u/16 State Champion for Bodyboarding. He was good enough to sit down and fill us in on what makes him tick!!
1. Tell us about your sport:
Well the sports I do are Surfing and Bodyboarding.
Surfing is were you are standing up on a surfboard and the tricks you do are majority rail to rail stuff like turns, getting barrels.
Bodyboarding is were you laying down on a bodyboard with fins whilst wearing flippers. The tricks you do are mainly barrel rolls, backflips etc... but you can also do spins, carves and cutbacks.
2. How long have you been doing it and why do you love it ?:
I have been surfing since I was 8 years old, so about 5 years. I have only been surfing competively for about 3 years.
I love it because when I am out there I am generally with all my mates having fun. When you're out in the waves you sort of get away from the everything for a while.
I have only been Bodyboarding for about 2 years, and competing for 1 and half years. I love it for the same reasons I love surfing.
3. Have you had any stumbling blocks and how did you get though them ?:
Well I had a disease in both my knees called Osteo Endertrsitis Desseceans and used to suffer bad knee pain for about 2-3 years. After trying many things and going to many different doctors it ended with me having a double knee operation when I was 12. They put 5 screws in the right knee and 3 in left. I was in a wheelchair for 6 weeks after the operation which was very hard to adjust to that life because I was always such an active kid. Then i was out of action for about 10 months. I was not allowed to do anything. I could not do any running, surfing, bodyboarding, footy, skating. It was very hard mentally and physically, especially after school when all my mates would be off having fun and I was stuck at home. I turned into a bit off a X Box nerd for a while there..lol.
The way I got though it was to stay postive and look forward to getting better and stronger for when I could finally return to it all. Going through something like that gives me a new appreciation for life and how lucky I really am!
4. What competions have you been in and are you working towards any others?:
I have been in way too many to list haha. I have always competed at local Surfing and Bodyboarding club comps and I travel down South alot for comps and also up to Scarborough and Trigg beach too.. Luckily I have such good, supportive parents..
Last year I finished Champion boy at Secret Harbour Surfing Club and I also won WA u/14s Runner up State Champion for Bodyboarding. Mum and I went to Nationals last November with the WA State Team and I finished 9th..Not as good as I was hoping for but what an experience!!
This year I won WA u/16s State Champion so at the moment I am working towards the Australian Bodyboard National Titles in Coffs Harbour NSW in August 13/18th.
Keep practicing and then practise some more and if you don't go too well in your first competition don't give up, learn from it, keep training and just keep on giving it ago. Because if your persistent you will get the result you want! You must set goals :)