Local Hero March 2020
Callum is 18 years old and Copa born and bred. He’ll be familiar to some of you as he regularly surfs Copa point in his ‘down time’. We’re not sure how he even has any spare time, considering his achievements competing on the state, national and world stage. Here are just a few highlights:
Molokai 2 Oahu World Championships, Hawaii
In 2017, at just 16 years and 88 days old, Callum became the youngest ever to compete in the World Men’s 18-29 years old Solo Prone Stock Board Category. This iconic race is known around the world as one of the toughest races in any sport. It is a paddleboard race across hazardous waters from the island of Molokai to the island of Oahu in Hawaii through the Kaiwi Channel (also known as the Channel of Bones). The race is 52 Kilometres long and Callum achieved 5th place, taking 6 hours and 32 minutes to complete the event.
2018/19 Australian Ocean Racing Series Champion – Open Men’s Prone Paddle-board category
Callum competed in 6 races in the series for 4 wins:
Pacifica Downwind (Woolgoolga to Coffs Harbour); Charles Stewart Memorial Classic (Mona Vale to Fisherman’s Beach, Long Reef); Moon Island Ocean Race (Catherine Hill Bay to Blacksmiths Beach); Manly Wharf- Bridge to Beach (Harbour Bridge to Manly Wharf). Callum finished 2nd at the 20 Beaches Ocean Classic and won a 3rd place podium position at the Gold Coast Classic. The results secured the Australian Championship win for Callum in March 2019 with an impressive 4443 points.
Gold Medal 2019 Oceania U20 Men’s Discus Champion
Callum was selected to represent Australia in the 2019 Oceania Athletics Championships, Townsville QLD, June 2019. After a terrific series of personal best throws (his best being 43.47 metres with the 1.75kg discus) Callum went on to win the Gold medal for Australia.
Callum has been crowned New South Wales Discus Champion 3 times:
2019 NSW All Schools Athletics Championships, Sept – 1st place.
2017 NSW All Schools Athletics Championships, 1st place.
2017 NSW Junior & Youth Athletics Championships, 1st place.
Callum’s achievements ‘off the field’ are just as impressive
Callum’s work ethic and willingness to give his best have been recognised in many other special awards including 2020 ‘Youth of the Year’ winner, Central Coast Australia Day Awards and 2019 ‘Youth Sportsperson of the Year’, Central Coast Sports Awards. Callum completed his HSC last year and achieved fantastic results. He’s now working as an apprentice carpenter for a local builder.
Callum will again represent New South Wales at the 2020 Australian Athletics Championships this month in the U20 Men’s Discus Final. We wish him the very best of luck and look forward to an update on his goals and wins over the coming year.
Another Copa local we can all be proud of.
Local Hero December 2019
Congratulations to Zoe Evason, Year 4 student at Copa Public School for representing her school and the Central Coast region as a State Finalist at the 2019 Premier’s Spelling Bee held in Sydney on November 8.
Zoe’s proud parents Sarah and Geoff migrated to Australia in 2005 from Canada. Now Australian
citizens, they have lived in Copa for 3 years and love the lifestyle here. Sarah says that Zoe is an enthusiastic reader and her favourite books include the Harry Potter series and Keeper of the
Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger. No doubt that regular reading is an important tool for improving spelling skills and Zoe also spent many hours studying in preparation for the Spelling Bee, having been given a list of several hundred words to practise months ahead of the competition. Mastering the list took many hours of writing the words down, oral practise and sticking the difficult words on to her bedroom walls so she could memorise them! Mentored by Copa PS teacher, Craig Mitchell, Zoe put in the hard yards to win a medal for herself and online access to Macquarie Dictionary and Thesaurus for the whole school.
It’s great to see a ‘Copa kid’ suitably rewarded for academic effort, and we wish her every success in her continuing education at Copa PS.
Well done Zoe!
Local Hero September 2019
If you’ve ever seen the movie ‘The Big Blue’ you’ll know that Freediving entails holding your breath for what seems like an impossibly dangerous time, while descending to great depths. Adam is the current and 8 x Australian record holder - at 99 metres (free immersion).
As you can see from Adam’s incredible images, he spends a lot of time under the water – only natural for someone who spent his early years surfing in Copa. Actually Adam says he was more of a bookworm than a surfer and that he ended up as the National record-holder and a professional Freediver by accident. Or as he puts it ‘an act of serendipity’.
Adam grew up in Copa and went to primary school here, then Kincumber High. His proud parents, Haim and Andrea have lived in Copa for over 25 years. Adam visits a lot with his wife Erin and 3-month-old baby Eleanor from their home in Gorokan.
How did Adam get into Freediving?
After he finished uni (where he studied Theatre) Adam took off for South East Asia, landing in Koh Tao in Thailand. Here he segued from a scuba diving course into a basic beginner course in Freediving, which he’d never heard of until then. Adam instantly loved it and stayed in Koh Tao, training and ‘getting pretty good at it’. He travelled to other diving meccas around the world to train, including South America.
He started to teach other people and thought he might be able to make a living out of it. His timing was serendipitous. Freediving now attracts a few thousand divers to competitions all over the world, mostly in South East Asia, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean – the places with the calmest oceans. It’s a very fast-growing sport and Adam is now an expert professional, running a successful business with Erin - teaching others, guiding and managing dive tours all over the planet and of course, competing.
What is Freediving and who can do it?
According to Adam, Freediving is statistically the safest extreme sport in the world and ‘long breath holds are something that people can do quite easily, it’s just not something we are usually taught or think we can do’. He says that someone who attends a beginner course, who has no diving experience, can be diving to 20 metres in two days. His students come from all ages and backgrounds. Some are into spear-fishing, scuba diving or surfing and want to try something new in the water. Others are interested in seeing more of ‘what’s down there’. His photographs provide an amazing insight into the world beneath the surface.
Adam is the founder and organiser of an event called Deep Week, which brings the best Freedivers, Freediving instructors and Freediving experts from all over the world to one place, where they share knowledge and maximise learning.
Adam also runs courses at Terrigal Haven if you want to give Freediving a try. And if you want to see him doing an actual dive, click on the link to his website, where you can see a live dive on Adam’s YouTube channel. While you’re there, read about his upcoming Mount Gambier Freedive Trip (5-7 October) – beginners welcome.
Adam is a true champion and we can be very proud of him, a high-achieving Copa local.
Local Hero June 2019
Meet Summer Klein, a swimming champion from Copa Public School. Summer travelled to Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre in April to compete at the NSW Primary Schools State Swimming Championships and achieved fantastic results.
Her representative journey began this year with some amazing performances at the school swimming carnival in February. From here, Summer qualified to represent Copa PS at the Southern Central Coast Zone Championships. Again, Summer performed brilliantly, finishing the meet with 4 gold medals.
These stellar results qualified her to compete at the Sydney North Regional Championships. At this meet she continued to better her PBs across all strokes and she earnt a gold medal in the butterfly and silver medals in the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle and breaststroke.
Summer’s tremendous performance at the regional championships meant that she qualified to swim at the prestigious NSW State Championships. Over two days in April, 1,527 students from every corner of NSW came together to represent their Schools, Zones and Regions to compete at Sydney’s Olympic pool. Summer’s hard work and rigorous training program paid off! She continued to better her times and finished the NSW State championships with more outstanding results:
4th – 50m butterfly
7th – 50m breaststroke
8th – 100m freestyle
11th – 50m freestyle
On behalf of the community, we congratulate Summer and wish her well in her swimming career. We have no doubt she has a great future in competitive swimming and are proud to claim her as a Copa Local Hero.
Local Hero March 2019
Corey is an accomplished Surf Lifesaving champion who grew up right here, starting with Copa Nippers at the age of six. He won two State titles when he was in the Under 8s and many Branch and State medals for Copacabana SLSC in a wide variety of events before he moved to Terrigal SLSC at the age of 15. He attended Copa Public School and Terrigal High. Two years ago he moved up to the Gold Coast, where he now competes for Currumbin Vikings SLSC. His favourite events are Board and Ironman.
Now aged 21, Corey has an impressive array of titles under his belt, including fantastic results at the World Surf Lifesaving titles in Adelaide at Glenelg in November 2018. He came 2nd in the individual Board event and in the team events achieved Gold in Board Rescue; Gold in Tube Rescue and Silver in Taplin Relay for a total of 2 gold and 3 silver medals. Currumbin Vikings were crowned the second best club in the world at this event from the 40+ countries represented.
Corey is currently sitting in 2nd place in the Board category in the Ocean Six Series and 15th place in the Nutrigrain Iron Man series. In the upcoming Queensland State Championships, Corey has been invited along by his sponsors, Engine, to participate in a clinic with some of the best Ironmen and Ironwomen in the world, where he will be signing posters and talking to fans.
Corey’s next big goal is to make the Australian World Team for Italy 2020.
His weekly training session schedule will no doubt help him achieve that goal and is something all our young Copa competitors could aspire to.
Monday to Friday – Swim
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday - Run
Monday & Friday – Ski
Tuesday & Thursday – Board
Wednesday & Saturday – Ironman
His favourite training session is ‘Any session with sick runners or pumping waves!’ and his favourite quote “Be grateful with everything you have and you will be successful in everything you do” (Conor McGregor). Sounds like Corey is a humble and very grounded champion and we wish him all the very best in his chosen sport.
His achievements have done Copa proud.
Corey lists his Coach, Michael King and his parents, Copa locals Paul Fletcher and Laney Bell as his mentors. Dad Paul supplied much of the information for this story and we are very happy to name Corey our inaugural Copa News ‘Local Hero’.
His Instagram handle is
@coreyfletcher if you’d like to check it out or go to: