Simone Day is one of the pioneers of the Sunshine Coast’s 1970s and 80s surf scene. An elite competitor in her youth, Simone went on to a teaching career which she combined with surf coaching becoming one of the first of either sex to gain accreditation in the early 1980s.
Women's surfing began in earnest here in the late 1970s with the formation of the Sunshine Girls Surfriders Club driven by the likes of Lisa Perry, Lyn Jones, Simone Day, Kate Perry and the shark-catching water-woman Kym McKenzie. The influence of the late Helen Ewing and the formation of the Australian Women's Surfriders Association in the early 1980s were also powerful. Simone is speaking at our festival's Our Acclaimed Surfing Culture and History discussion panel on Sunday, September 11.
Simone, now a teacher and surf coach but 20 years ago a fierce competitor on the emerging Australian circuit, says it was the arrival and early embrace of surf coaching here and the inclusion of girls in schools' surfing programs as early as the mid-80s that really drove involvement.
Maroochydore, Coolum, Sunshine Beach and Caloundra high schools all established serious surf coaching programs that were split between the classroom and the beach.
SURF GIRLS: (from left) Jodi Cooper, Ma Bendall, Helen Lambert, former Noosa mayor Bert Wansley, Simone Day, Toni Sawyer, former State Member for Cooroora Gordon Simpson, Pru Howarth and Jenny Gill at the Big Dairy Summer Surf Classic prize presentation, Australia Day weekend of 1983.