I've just discovered that my young neighbour is in the Junior UK surfboarding team and has taken championship places. I've known him since he was a bump in the tum. I watched him play with kiddie cars dad designed, made to look like little racing cars. They were even battery powered. For years it looked like he was going to be car mad. Sure, I had noticed he sometimes went out in wet suits, (or maybe they were dry suits) carting the obvious clue, a surf board, sometimes even two. Either he went off with dad or with a trail of friends, also kitted up.
He has been anywhere in the UK to practice where there is reasonable surf. Mostly, he has not had to travel very far. When the international adults teams have appeared here, our young neighbour has taken every opportunity to learn from them and surf with them when they have not been busy with their own competitions.
Next month he disappears off to university; he will be too old for the junior UK team. In the light of his junior prowess, it is quite likely he will be assisted to continue surfing. University life will not stop him from surfing competitively for his university.
As he pointed out, he is going to university to work at his studies, they will, he said, take priority. Very sensible, I would say. The accommodation office have, as far as he can tell, put him in a flat with other sporty students. It could be very demanding of my young neighbour's will-power to deal with this temptation.