A little girl who left Clonmel with her family for a new life in Australia has taken to the sunny life by the ocean and is in training to be Surf Life Saver on the beautiful Gold Coast.
Sophie Hogan is just seven years old but already she is learning about the ocean and learning how to save a life with the Australia Surf Life Savers.
Sophie is part of a group that train each Sunday from 7.30am until 12 midday at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast in Queensland.
They are taught how to life save and even at such a young age taught all about the rips and tides and dangers the ocean holds and ultimately they achieve a huge respect for the ocean.
Also involved in the childrens’ training is body boarding and the surf life saving pretty much what you see in ‘Bondi Rescue’ on the television is what they are teaching these kids, according to Sophie’s mum Rose Mulcahy.
“It takes a lot of passion and hard work for these kids to train hard – training starts at age 5. As they move through the ranks these kids will be the future of Surf Life Savers in beaches around Australia that you see.
“Nippers is the term used for this age group in training over the years they compete in all types of competitions in the ocean. There are different clubs dotted all over the Gold Coast which compete in these events,” Rose explained to The Nationalist.
Sophie’s dad is Noel Hogan, from Heywood Road, who trains with her each Sunday and also helps out at the surf life saving club.
Mum Rose is originally from Prior Park. Sophie’s proud grandparents in Clonmel are Sean and Daisy Hogan of Heywood Road and Breda Mulcahy of O’Connell Terrace, Clonmel.
Sophie was born in Cork and moved to Australia when she was two, with her mum and dad, Noel and Rose. They are living in Hope Island on the Gold Coast for the past five years.
She is in Grade 2 at Saint Francis Xavier School in Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast. And, says her proud mum, can be found either in a pool or the ocean in any given day !