Backing the Best and SportsAid nominations 2023

We are delighted to be working with our partners at SportsAid and offering the opportunity of funding and high-level sports coaching to some of our most promising young surfers.

This year we’ll be looking to support up to 6 athletes on the SportsAid programme, with grants of up to £1000 available, and a series of performance orientated workshops and mentoring. At these successful applicants will get to meet and work with some of the country’s foremost experts and other young athletes from across the sporting world.

We will also be nominating up to 10 surfers for the Backing the Best award. This award is focused on supporting athletes with outstanding ability, but who face economic hardship that means they might not get the opportunity to fulfil their potential. With up to £5000 of funding available for each surfer we can make a real difference, helping them to access more coaching, attend more competitions, invest in better equipment, and generally support their journey as young competitive surfers.

As part of Surfing England’s ongoing commitment to tackling diversity and inclusion in surfing, we are committing 50% of the Backing the Best awards for athletes that are from under-represented communities within surfing and from geographies outside of the Southwest surfing heartlands.

This is to help support our ambition to widen the demographic profile of surfers coming into the talent pathway. We believe diversity of background, thought and approach can be a real strength for our training squads and teams as we look to continue building on recent success at a European and World level for our junior and para surfers.

How do I get involved?

The nominations process has started for our Team England Squad athletes across Junior and Para (Adaptive) Teams.

We are now opening nominations for surfers outside of the Team England squad that can demonstrate both:

  • Outstanding level of surfing ability and;
  • Are from underrepresented communities in surfing

What does outstanding ability mean?

In this case, it is young surfers that have the raw talent and potential to grow into internationally competitive athletes, if the right support is made available.

What does underrepresented communities in surfing mean?

We are looking to broaden our talent pathway and we’re seeking applications from those who meet some of below criteria:

  • Are from ethnically diverse communities and backgrounds
  • Have a disability
  • Come from parts of the country that don’t have access to the coaching, club, and competition structure of the Southwest

How do I apply?

All applicants must read the nomination process and eligibility criteria ahead of applying.

To apply, complete the athlete support form and send to

Nominations must be in by 23:59 on the: Friday 25th November 2022.

The Surfing England Nominations Panel will meet on the Tuesday 29th November.

Entry to the programmes closes on the Monday 5th December, with SportsAid following up with nominations directly to check application details and evidence financial positions. SportsAid have the final decision on all awards.

Successful nominees will have their awards confirmed and allocated by March 2023.


What is a SportsAid Award

Sports Aid and Backing the Best nomination process and eligibility criteria

Surfing England Athlete Support Form

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