It has been a big year for the Phillip Island Boardriders Club! Coming out of restrictions, competing in the Australian Boardriders Battle, Phillip Island Pro QS, strengthening Junior and Supergrom programs, the successful Single Fin Event and the upcoming Longboard Classic scheduled for the 19th of February.
While all this was being achieved, the Club realised another milestone on 8 February 2022, unanimously electing a female Club President, Hannah Eisen, who is the second female president in the Club’s 59 years.
Established in 1963, the Club lays claim to the oldest continuously running surfing club in Australia. In the beginning, most of the club members were from Melbourne. As the membership grew these surfers migrated closer to the beach and now 90% of all members live on the Island. We have three generations of club members surfing in contests at present, with the oldest competing member being over 74 years of age.
The Phillip Island Boardriders Club is a volunteer-run community club that exists to provide surfers of all abilities with opportunities, and at the same time aims to preserve and safeguard the sport of surfing and promote a positive surfing culture throughout the community.
PIBC’s recently elected club president has a passion for life, in particular; surfing, swimming, fitness, family and friends, and obviously, the community she lives in. She will be supported by an equally enthusiastic committee that have all invested a lot into the club. Geoff Russel will step up as Vice President, Marcus Wright will remain as Treasurer and Harry De Roth as Club Captain. Geoff Russel will also lead the cadets and junior development. Deb Leonard and Kirra Marlbourgh will share the role of Supergroms Club Captain. Andy McHenry will continue as Malibu Club Captain with Jake Eisen, Joe Van Dijk and Kyle Ross general committee members.
Phillip Island Boardriders Club and surfing, in general, has traditionally been male-dominated, but this is changing. Hannah believes women can offer different perspectives and she appreciates a range of views.
Hannah has worked in the building and construction industry for over 15 years following the completion of her Masters in Architecture so she definitely knows how gender can play a role, both in and out of the water.
“Women should feel that they can have a say and make a valuable contribution,” said Hannah.
Hannah joined the club as a super grom herself, where she met her best friends, and laughs when she remembers being nominated for club women of the year when she was 12, not because she was the best surfer, but because she gave it a go.
“My three brothers and I have been around the club since we were grommets and I’m delighted to be appointed as the President for the remainder of the 2021-22 season,” said Hannah
“As President and a passionate community member, I’m excited about the next generations of junior surfers coming through the ranks and the involvement of the older crew who grew the club to what it is today.”
“The committee will be working hard to host events, promote women in surfing, build the Supergroms Program and provide opportunities for surfers of all ages, gender, backgrounds and ability.”
“My brother Jake believes the Juniors and Supergroms Program is more than just surfing, it’s an opportunity for kids to develop confidence and courage, it is a great stepping stone for learning important life skills.”
He said being encouraged and mentored by the older members as a grommet allowed him to feel part of something special and give him the confidence to succeed in business.
The new committee will do their best to make sure the Club continues to thrive, we have a great club, strong membership and rich history which will be honoured next year for the 60th anniversary.