Tuesday 30th November 2010

Surf star is riding high...

His parents gave him an inflatable surfboard as a 13th birthday present… now Ronan Oertzen is on the real thing and on the crest of a wave.

And to mark his progress to becoming one of Ireland’s top surfers, the now 20-year-old is a winner in the Belfast Telegraph’s Emo Sports Awards, sponsored by the leading oil company in partnership with the Mary Peters Trust.

Ronan has been in the top two in every national event. He has also been in the leading ten at European level and in the top 40 in world events.

His family home is in south Belfast, but his surfing schedule has taken him to several countries, from Australia, Costa Rica and Morocco, to the Canary Islands, France and Spain.

Breakers mix with academia and he has decided to study for a science degree at the Institute of Technology in Sligo, just to be near super surfing beaches like Tulland Strand at Bundoran, and Strandhill.

Ronan said: “My ambition is to be a professional, competitive surfer. I’ve been involved in sports including football, GAA, hockey and swimming, but there’s nothing like surfing.

“It can be dangerous, but when your technique is right and the waves are right it’s absolutely exhilarating.”
The Emo Sports Awards in partnership with the Mary Peters Trust are open to young sportsmen and women from the age of 12. You can nominate yourself or apply through a parent, coach, club or governing body. Each month’s £400 winner will be featured in the Belfast Telegraph.

Full details from governing bodies or on the trust website www.marypeterstrust.org

Ronan and Barry with Mervyn Elder, vice-chair of the Mary Peters Trust...