‘POLARISING’: Boardriding club hits back over WSL debacle
The Lennox Head Ballina Boardriders Club has hit back over "derogatory" comments levelled against them during discussions about the World Surf League's proposed event for Lennox Head.
The WSL took the idea to Ballina Shire Council and gave them just days to make a decision on the matter.
At an extraordinary meeting last week, councillors rejected the proposal.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro, who was in the region and was expected to formally announce the WSL's Easter event, said it was the wrong decision and said it was a NIMBY area.
Despite vocal opposition from many sections of the community, Ballina Shire Mayor David Wright and WSL boss Andrew Starkey said there had been support for the idea, particularly from LeBa.
It led to some angst towards the boardriders club.
The club has since taken to social media to "clear up some of the misinformation".
"LeBa Boardriders was approached last Wednesday by the WSL in order to gauge support, or otherwise, for a one off event to be held in Lennox," they posted.
"The approach included a raft of measures that would support LeBa's stated vision to promote surfing as both a healthy lifestyle and a competitive sport, that has potential for young people in the Ballina and Lennox areas to pursue as a career.
"WSL also put forward proposals that would engage LeBa members in the event, and the community as a whole.
"While the proposals were discussed and supported by the committee, they were due to be presented in full in a formal committee meeting on the evening of Wednesday, February 3.
"However the extraordinary meeting of the Ballina Shire Council was unexpectedly called prior to this.
"Further, the committee contacted various community groups to gauge the level of support by stakeholders which was met with support at that stage.
"Things moved faster than expected however our intentions were for a positive outcome for our club, and for the wider community.
"It is extremely disappointing for members of this very dedicated and committed boardriding club to see some of the derogatory comments directed at the entire club unfairly.
"Whilst it is understood that this issue has been polarising, within a normally tight knit surfing community, the entire facts should considered first before resorting to social media platforms to publicly criticise an entire club."