It was a magical day down at Dixon Park Beach today – friendly crowds, artisan markets and men wearing bright pink bras, while competing with each other for the best ridden wave.
Orchestrating all this is Courtney Bower, calmly keeping the day running smoothly all with a big smile and a cheerful hello.
Courtney is a regular at surfing competitions – her partner Marlenn Guihot is a keen longboarder. While they love attending competitions they always found themselves imagining the things they would do differently if they were to run an event.
Courtney’s mother, at 47, was diagnosed with breast cancer and this motivated Courtney to get involved.
But it wasn’t until one day, while reading an email from the Cancer Council that asked the question What are YOU doing to help raise funds and awareness? that Courtney had her “ah-ha” moment and knew what she could do to help.
Courtney and Marlenn have created an annual surfing event to raise awareness about breast cancer and generate funds and support for Cancer Council’s Pink Ribbon.
They were actually on their way back from that same long boarding competition in 2015 when they came up with the name of the event – Tubes 4 Boobs!
“Its a fun name, but not in away to be taken as a joke,” Courtney tells us. “It’s all about raising awareness and starting the conversation.”
The event runs for two days, with short board comp on Saturday and the Long Board comp on Sunday. A fun crowd favorite is the lunchtime session where all competitors have to wear bras whilst surfing.
Tubes 4 Boobs target fundraising goal for 2015 was $10,000 – but incredibly that target was doubled with the event raising just over $20,000.
The target for 2016 was $20,000 and Courtney is hoping this target will be met today as well.
Ted Bassingthwaighte is the Toobs 4 Boobs top fundraiser and also the Digital Media Manager for the event, but he tells us, “Courtney is the spear head of everything for the day!” Courtney laughs, “Well you’re the feathers. Can’t shoot straight without feathers!”
“Its such a great day to bring the community together. All while raising funds and having a laugh,” Courtney tells us.
“And how is your mother doing these days?” We ask.
“She’s fine… She kicked Cancer’s butt!” Courtney happily replies.
This fun, popular and successful event is such an inspirational feat and the Newcastle couple are hoping to form a committee for 2017 to make the event even “bigger and better.”