Callum has the world at his feet
EVANS Head teenager Callum Robson will represent Australia in the International Surfing Association World Surfing Games in Japan this week.
He is one of only six Australian surfers chosen with the team to be captained by multiple time world champion Stephanie Gilmore.
Robson has been in top form this year and was selected off the back of his performances in the Pro Junior division on the World Surf League. He was leading the competition until recently and is still second on the rankings having already qualified for the World Junior Championships later this year.
"It's a pretty exciting opportunity and it will be an honour to represent my country,” Robson said.
"It will be a great cultural experience and there will be a lot that I can learn from this.
"My goal was to qualify for world juniors and I've done that which is a confidence boost.”
Robson, 17, still lives in Evans Head and has put a carpentry apprenticeship on hold in an attempt to make the professional tour.
He wants to use the Japanese event as a stepping stone with Surfing Australia hoping to build a team towards the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.
"We'll be in Tahara which is a bit more rural so I'm not sure what to expect from the waves,” Robson said.
"I want to make the professional tour and I just want to keep chipping away at it and surf consistently.
"I've had a few ups and downs this year but I'm happy with my results.”
Robson is a hard worker and trains at the Surfing Australia high performance centre at Casuarina. Surfing Australia's national high performance director Kim Crane has earmarked the importance of the event for Olympic selection.
"The Olympic qualifying system states that the 2019 and 2020 ISA World Surfing Games is imperative for athlete selection in the Tokyo 2020 Games,” Krane said.
"So this presents a significant opportunity for these athletes to not only perform on the world stage for their country but also to capture some learnings that our National Squad athletes will be able to apply in the 2019 and 2020 events.
"We have a great mix of experience and youth, so as individual competitors it's a terrific opportunity for our athletes to show up as a team, for each other.”
The team will be managed by former tour professional Bede Durbidge.