Ardie Morris refers to his love of surfing as an “obsession”.
“I surf most mornings at first light – it’s the best way to start the day,” he says.
“To me it’s a healthy obsession, which is what I tell my wife when I arrive home with a new surfboard.”
On Friday 29 April, Ardie will use his passion for surfing to help raise funds for a worthy cause.
Hunter Water’s Group Manager Revenue has entered his first Evolution Charity Cup alongside four colleagues – Damon Allen, Jordan Montgomery, Colin Hancock and Paul Thoroughgood – to aid the Mark Hughes Foundation and its work in promoting research, heightening awareness, and providing support for brain cancer patients and their families.
The charity cup, an integral part of Surfest 2022, is a corporate tag-team style surfing event that allows local businesses to ride waves for the foundation.
Ardie says his team, the Love Water Boardriders, is determined to compete for the cup but will not lose sight of the big picture.
“It’s been a dream of mine to become a professional surfer – this could be a turning point in my career,” he says.
“Hey, [American surfer] Kelly Slater won the Pipe Masters six days prior to his 50th birthday. It’s never too late.
“And, if that doesn’t happen, then I hope our team has loads of fun and we raise a truckload of money for the Mark Hughes Foundation.
Mark – a two-time premiership winner with the Newcastle Knights – was diagnosed with brain cancer in July 2013 and underwent surgery to remove an avocado-sized tumour from his brain.
He then set up the foundation to support research into brain cancer, which is the leading cause of cancer death in children and adults under 40 in Australia.
Despite this, little is known about its causes and how to treat it. On average, almost 2,000 brain cancers are diagnosed in Australia each year – that’s roughly one person diagnosed every five hours.
Ardie has a simple message for the local community.
“Please dig deep and sponsor our team,” he says.
“We may not win, but your money will go towards a good cause and might help others win the fight against brain cancer.”
The fourth Evolution Charity Cup will take place at Dixon Park Beach from 7am.
Hunter Water is a supporting sponsor of Surfest. Australia’s largest surfing festival celebrated its 36th anniversary earlier this month.