SIX years ago, Tayla de Coning, 17, fell in love with surfing after watching locals hitting the waves at Nahoon Beach while taking a walk with her grandfather. Two weeks later, her grandfather organised surfing classes.
Years later, De Coning became an expert and has now been selected to represent SA at the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Junior Surfing Championships 2018 in California, US next month.
“In the beginning of the year, four of us were chosen from last year’s results and we surfed a trial in Port Elizabeth two months ago. I was very happy when I found out that I was selected to represent my country overseas,” said De Coning.
At the beginning of August, De Coning took part in the Mercedes Benz South African Surfing Championships in the Open Women’s division and came third.
“I want to take up surfing as a career or be part of anything that involves it, because I am very passionate about it,” she said. De Coning left on Sunday to join the South African Training Camp in Jeffreys Bay to prepare herself for the big event, and will also spend two weeks at the SA Junior Surfing Championships in Jeffreys Bay.
“It is exciting to see her excelling in something that she loves. This achievement is not only big for us, but for her too,” said De Coning’s mother Candice Ristow.
The family has been raising funds for her travelling costs, as it will cost them R56,000.