Great Britain's junior team training hard & raising funds
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 6 March, 2014 - Surfing GB today announced the travel team of 15 young surfers to represent Great Britain at the 2014 ISA World Junior Championships, to be held in Salinas, Ecuador on the 5th-13th April.
2014 has seen a step-up in the training and selection process for our junior squads, with the families and supporters of the GB juniors working together on fundraising with Surfing GB for the benefit of a wider squad in the last 12 months.
The outcome of this collective effort has been a significant increase in the number of prospective team members vying for places in the competitive u-16 & u-18 divisions, attracting British Surfers from all over the UK and as far afield as Bali, South Africa and Portugal to a highly successful week of intensive squad training and assessment at the Portuguese high performance centre in Viana de Castelo in February.
Yet despite the fundraising efforts of the Juniors and their families- and the continued generous support from team GB Sponsors, Calypso Soft Drinks, Robie Robes, OffSure insurance and Sherwen Engineering, the team still faces a massive task to raise the funds required to send a British team to compete.
“It’s tough finding significant sponsorhip out there” commented Nick Rees of Surfing GB. “Despite its popularity, Surfing still doesn’t receive any government funding unlike the well-funded Olympic sports, so the GB surfing squads now have to completely self-fund to represent their country”.
To raise the funding needed the GB juniors have today launched a Crowdfunder appeal. “The great thing about Crowdfunder is it enables lots of people to just put in a small donation” said John Ellis, GB Team manager. “if every surfer out there put in a couple of pounds- less than the price of a drink- and all the hundreds of businesses that benefit from surfing put in Ten or Twenty pounds- we’d soon reach our target. We want to ensure we send a team of the best surfers, chosen on merit, not on ability to pay.”
The recent training camp at the High Performance Surfing Centre in Viana allowed Head Coach Lloyd Cole to push the squad’s limits in some state of the art facilities. “The standard of performance achieved from the squad throughout the week was extremely encouraging”. With 65 million people and 11000 kilometres of coastline “British Surfing is a sleeping giant- and this week we have definitely woken that giant up!”
To continue to push the squad’s performance right up to the World Championships, the team of 15 surfers will train and compete until the last minute to secure one of the 12 places available to represent Great Britain in the competition. “This has never been done by a GB surf team before” said Ellis “it ensures our most in-form and competitive surfers compete for Great Britain at the World championships this year”.
Travel Team Selection
Taz Knight Ellen Harding
Ed Smith Peony Knight
Rhys Barfield Flora Lawton
Harry De Roth Bethan Lewis
Angus Scotney Ruby Breadon
Liam Murray Strout
The team will meet one more time in March before flying to Ecuador on March 31st. Keep an eye on the Surfing GB website for news of our progress. Donate to the Crowdfunder here.