If you were at Lifeline Classic a couple of weeks ago, a surfing competition and fundraiser run by Lifeline Northern Beaches, you may have seen a team of young surfers out in the swell. While they didn’t finish on the podium, they’ve been making waves out of the water, raising thousands of dollars for the fundraiser in support of suicide prevention.
Liam Jordan, along with his friends Tom Northcote, Connor Ward and Noah Mclaren, all 13, make up ‘The Piranhas’, their team at the Lifeline Classic, as well as their team at the Warringah Aquatic Swimming Club.
Liam and his friends were inspired to work together to raise money for Lifeline as one of their best friends lost her mum to suicide four months ago.
“It was a massive shock cause she seemed like a such a happy person who loved everyone,” said Liam.
Working together, the boys raised almost $3,500 for Lifeline Northern Beaches, selling homemade cakes at the swimming club after training, raising money at school and making use of their parents social media pages.
“We made upwards of 100 cakes and sold them for two dollars each, and we had posters with QR codes if people didn’t have cash on them,” said Liam. “We raised almost 500 bucks that morning which was a good booster.”
While there wasn’t much surf on the day of the competition, Liam and the boys couldn’t help but have a good time.
“I probably started surfing 3 years ago,” said Liam. “The competition was so much fun. It was me, Noah, Tom and Connor, and we got to pick a pro to surf with, who ended up being a mate from school, so that was fun.”
“Everyone was really supportive of each other,” said Liam’s mum, Jenni. “It wasn’t too competitive, it was mostly about raising awareness and hanging out together outside the pool where they usually spend a lot of their time together.”
“Their swimming coach, Sandy, from The Piranhas, was their biggest supporter there on the day,” said Jenni.
Though Liam and his friends are young, they recognise the importance of mental health and how helpful it can be to speak to someone if you’re struggling.
“What Lifeline does so well is raising awareness for that kind of thing. People that have those kind of bad thoughts can go speak to those people [Lifeline] and they can tell them that they’re loved and an asset to the world.”