The 2011 British National Surf Championships Website is now LIVE. Open and Open women surfers, together with juniors and grommets of both sexes, will compete for the British titles on 29th 30th October, at Fistral in Newquay.
With on-going difficulties at Surfing GB, none of the 2011 National events were scheduled to take place. Alarm bells started ringing amongst surfers that their NGB was in a state of crisis.
Volunteers stepped forward to salvage the most important event, the British Nationals; making a statement to the wider surfing community that events like this matter; and that no- one sponsor, or failing NGB, can take away surfer’s rights to contest their National titles, run their own events, and determine their own governance.
That message struck a chord. Within a fortnight an eclectic and diverse range of sponsors had offered their support. From surf industry giants to local shops and tourist businesses, the offers of help rolled in.
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Many of you will know that our National Governing Body (Surfing GB, formerly the BSA) has been experiencing difficulties for many years. It is public knowledge that there are currently no staff in the NGB office. The vast majority just want to see an end to the problems and a focus on surfing.
British Surfing needs a strong and credible National Governing Body (NGB) because without official recognition, surfing as a sport cannot access funding from Sport England. That means surf clubs, surf schools, surf businesses and individual surfers are all unable to compete for badly needed development grants with other sports.
A strong NGB does not just access funding. It should be assisting its members with things that matter to them: cheap insurance, club development, running contests, certification and ensuring good standards of training: of judges, coaches, surf schools. The NGB should also be training and managing the National teams that put British Surfing on the global map. A strong NGB gives surfers a political voice, ensuring that surfers are consulted as stakeholders in marine and watersports policy.
All surfers are affected, directly or indirectly, by the strength or weakness of their NGB.
The 2011 British Nationals will provide an opportunity for surfers to meet and decide on the future strategy for their NGB. Elections and a plan for 2012 are on the agenda.