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Rising Grom Asia Braithwaite
There are those young athletes that get into sport who possess natural talent, even the X-factor, yet as the road is usually a far-too-easy passage, they either take it for granted or don’t push beyond their capabilities.

Then there are those that possess the heart, drive and determination to succeed, and they usually end up very successful in their chosen sports. Then, every so often, there comes a talent that manages to combine that whole list of qualities and would crawl over broken glass in search of opportunities. From this champions are born. Meet 13-year-old Asia Braithwaite of Campion College in Gisborne, our latest ‘Grommette’ on the rise!

When did surfing first come into your life?

Well, ever since I was born I was at the beach and travelling with Dad to surf destinations. I don’t remember exactly when my first time surfing was, but there are photos and I was 4 or 5 surfing in Bali. But I really only started getting full on into surfing about a year ago. I was over surfing and my dad kept on at me, and kept telling me I had potential to be a good surfer, and to trust him, that if I got through the tough period I’d come out the other side and love it! And I do.

So tell us a bit about your family make up and the life you lead?

My dad is from Gizzy and my mum is from Italy, they met while in Bali surfing many years ago. I was born in Gisborne and every year since we have travelled to Indonesia and Italy where mum and dad work for half of the year. So I grew up travelling and living my life so far between NZ, Italy and Bali. I am fluent in Italian and also can speak some Spanish. I remember my younger years in Bali really well, I didn’t really surf back then and we did a lot of waiting around while mum and dad sorted their business in the factories for their clothing line. But after that was finished we would take off to places like Sumbawa for a few weeks and surf every day for 4-6 hours a day. Then we would head to Italy for five months and it was all work. A couple of years ago, my sister Mahia and I needed to go to school more, up until then we were home-schooled, but as we got older it became necessary to attend school full time, so now we only go to Bali and Italy for a month and we come home while Dad stays over there working.

You mention you had to go to school to learn but travelling all over the world must have taught you so much about different cultures and ways of life – life-schooled so to speak?

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Issue 188