It’s a wrap for 2022.
It’s been a massive year for Surfing England and for so many of our surfers who’ve absolutely shone on the international and world stage. As the year comes to a close we thought we’d reflect on what our team of staff and volunteers have achieved over the last 12 months.
Hannah and Zoe run our event programme which was the biggest ever in 2022. We delivered all the classics: English National Surfing Championships, Interclub Championships, GromSearch and the English Adaptive Surfing Championships
Plus we introduced the SUP Surfing Championships and a new Junior Surf Series sponsored by Eola and Animal with 6 stops across the country, each at a different host surf club. The idea to provide more opportunities for groms to try competitive surfing and to build closer links with our amazing clubs.
Looking ahead to 2023 we’re working on a programme to train more surf judges in Priority Judging and will be starting to bring priority into our events, starting with the open at the National Champs.
Wow. What a year, especially for our junior crew. We finish 2022 with Lukas Skinner, Arthur Randell, Alys Barton as European Champions, Lola Bleakley as European Silver Medallist, Sam Hearn as 6th placed at the Worlds. We also retained the British Cup and Melissa Reid and Zoe Smith took silver and copper medals respectively at the World Para Surfing games.
We sent teams to Eurosurf, World Junior Games, Euro SUP, the World Para Surfing Games and The British Cup. Each of those teams is supported by an awesome volunteer crew of surf coaches and managers and team sponsors to help fund them – along with parents and athletes making contributions. The surfing community has also dug deep and supported through fund raisers and crowd funding this year.
For young athletes, we’ve been able to provide £25K of grants this year and working with our partners at Sports Aid we’re doubling that to £50K for 2023, with half going to support surfers from under represented groups and communities.
If you want to check out our strategy for talent develop, it’s all in our Talent Pathway.
Surf Coaching, Schools and Clubs
We took the plunge in 2022 to create our own surf coaching awards. It’s a big step forward for Surfing England and will enable us to create a world class coach development programme, substantially increasing the number of opportunities of coaches to diversity and progress their coaching careers. Nick Moffett joined the team to lead on this three year programme of work, with the first Level 1 Instructor Award due to go live Spring 2023.
Our membership continues to grow under the stewardship of Lenka who’s been championing our new membership system, improving our offer for individual members and working closely with our clubs helping them get onto our club membership platform, supporting with policies and safeguarding and getting them involved with our junior series.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
We think surfing in more diverse line ups definitely makes for a richer and more fun surfing experience for everyone. It’s really important surfing is open and welcoming to people of all backgrounds, that the power of surfing to change lives is shared and celebrated.
Diversity and inclusion cuts through all the work we do, with the below providing some examples:
- We’re launching an Inclusive Line Ups committee to bring in more perspectives, expertise and lived experience to help guide our work and create new approaches to EDI in surfing. Recruitment for the Inclusive Lines Committee Chair is now live!
- Committed half our athlete funding to supporting surfers from under represented backgrounds within surfing https://www.surfingengland.org/backing-the-best-and-sportsaid-nominations-2023/
- Continuing to increase our investment in adaptive surfing from surf schools through to Team England and one of Europe’s largest adaptive surfing competitions
- Recruiting and training more female coaches, judges, beach marshals and other roles to increase the number of women in senior roles on the competition pathway and over 50% of the Surfing England team are women (including in leadership roles).
- We are committed to designing and using our new coaching awards to encourage more people from a wider range of backgrounds into coaching, and the awards themselves have a whole module on inclusive coaching, including areas like understanding unconscious bias.
If you check out any of our posters and edits you’ll see we really care about representation and we’re looking forward to continuing this work with our new Inclusive Line Ups team in 2023.
Laying the foundations
Surfing England is still a young organisation with a small team, so lots of our work is about laying the foundations for future growth. We want to create a dynamic and long term sustainable governing body that the surfing community is proud to have representing them.
It might not always be the most social media worthy content, but the work listed below is really important to develop the organisation. It’s also really important as we seek to attract Sport England investment into our talent pathway and for core funding to support surfing’s development and evolution. We need to show our organisation is highly capable and able to manage public funds. We also need to show that it’s simply unacceptable for an Olympic sport with multiple junior European champions, with 1m + participants that does so much social good to continue to be ignored by the funding bodies.
A glimpse behind the scenes:
- New website including coaching and club portals created ready for Jan 2023 launch
- Digital Learning Management System in place for new coaching awards
- Full governance review underway – moving us to T3 of the code for sports governance
- UK Anti Doping programme and adherence to their guidelines
- Partnership with British Canoeing to support the development of SUP
- Ongoing commercial work to retain and attract sponsors and increase ROI
- Grom Squad, our junior surfer programme!
- 2 new team members recruited
- 2 new board members recruited
The Surfing England operations team:
It’s a wrap.
I’ve probably missed loads, but hopefully these highlights show great progress has been made over the last 12 months. It just leaves me to say some thank yous.
We wouldn’t be able to function without the amazing volunteer coaches and managers that support all the Team England divisions – you are legends and are making a very real difference to the lives of our athletes. To our surfers for supporting our comps and each other, truly an awesome bunch of athletes to work with and a fantastic community to be a part of.
To the events crew, judges, runners, contest directors, beach marshals, photographers, videographers and organisers for turning out more competitive opportunities than ever before.
To the awesome crew I get to work with everyday. One of the hardest working and most passionate teams I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of. Often hidden behind the scenes, but always charging hard and making things happen with very limited resources.
To our sponsors and partners. We are not Sport England core funded as many assume we are. We are only here thanks to our commercial partners. Without these businesses investing in grass roots surfing none of the activity above would be happen. So please remember those logos and make sure you support them, as they support surfing.
Wishing everyone plenty of waves over the Christmas period. Give any of the team a shout if you sport us in the line up, and roll on 2023!
CEO, Surfing England
Surfing England’s awesome commercial partners and sponsors: