Sport England investment

Sport England investment

At the end of 2023 Surfing England secured a three year investment of £998,000 from Sport England.

The investment is to help support the growth and evolution of Surfing England as a robust, effective and dynamic National Governing Body that is able to serve the needs of its members and the wider surfing community.

A large part of Sport England’s funding will be helping us fulfil our core NGB duties, the behind-the-scenes responsibilities that are less glamorous, but equally as important as our work on the beach.   But that’s not all it will do, we’ll be able to do more for our talented young and adaptive surfers as we continue to develop a pathway for them to progress ready for the WSL QS or GB Surfing’s Progression Programme.  We’ll also be able to do much more for our community of surf clubs, those organisations and the volunteers that run them which are at the heart of grass roots surfing.

The Sport England investment is specifically targeted on areas support the running of the NGB and which contribute to the national sports and activity strategy, Uniting the Movement.  The funds can not be used to support activities outside of these areas.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the three main areas of work supported by the funding, and what we hope to achieve over the next three years.


We want to see thriving surf communities that positively connect people and surfing, making all those involved happier and healthier.    We want to do this by better supporting volunteers and community clubs, interconnecting grass roots and talent pathways, bringing events to underserved locations, providing a pathway into coaching and celebrating diversity and inclusion across all parts of our sport and lifestyle.

In addition to our existing work in these areas, we’ll use this investment to:

  1. Dedicate resource to support the Inclusive Line Ups committee, recruiting a membership and community role that has a clear Equality, Diversity and Inclusion remit
  2. Grow our membership and community team to work with our affiliated club network, working in partnership to deliver the support they need to flourish
  3. Build our online resources, giving clubs, coaches, volunteers etc better access to a wider range of digital resources, including safeguarding and EDI training

To deliver our talent plan   creating a talent pathway that celebrates diversity, supports athletes and coaches and delivers equal cultural and competitive impact.

The short and medium term vision and goals are focused on building the foundations, and doing so really well, to secure the longer term growth and development of the pathway and associated competitive and cultural outcomes.  4 ways the investment will support our talent plan:

  1. Formalising the structure and processes that underpin the talent programme, whilst maintaining the positive aspects of our volunteer led culture
  2. Building the coaching and management team, with new performance roles, formalised coaching positions and contracts, shared GB x Surfing England roles
  3. Integrating our pathway with the GB surfing progression programme for open surfers and the equivalent programme for adaptive surfers on paralympic inclusion
  4. Investment to broaden the pathway, working more closely with clubs to give every talented young surfer a clear route to Team England regardless of their background

Governance is an umbrella term used to describe some of our core functions, like how we manage and support safeguarding and equality, diversity and inclusion within surfing.  It also covers how we make decisions, in particular the operation of our board, financial management, our record keeping and our accountability in spending public money.

We have to meet Tier 3, the highest level within the code for sports governance. This is the same as larger sports like football, rugby and swimming have to meet, so it’s a significant undertaking for Surfing England.

The Sport England investment will help us meet the code and lead a culture of good governance by:

  1. Increasing our safeguarding capacity with recruitment of a lead safeguarding officer to better support and provide training to surf schools and clubs, alongside our own teams
  2. Creating more capacity to manage our governance function, increasing our management capacity, introducing a governance and compliance lead role and contracted HR support
  3. Recruiting a new chair and board members to ensure we have the right mix of backgrounds, experience and expertise steering the organisation

We’re privileged to be in a position where we can ramp up our efforts to drive positive change within surfing.  Working in partnership and with the trust of the surfing community is really important to us.  Our door is always open to those who want to make a positive difference to surfing.  Whether that’s to check and challenge our work, bring new ideas to the table or to give your time and get involved.   We strongly recommend anyone with interest in this area joins as a member, where you’ll have regular updates on our progress.


Will athletes or surfers be able to get funding? 

The Sport England investment is about supporting the system, rather than the individual.  We can not use the investment to support individual surfers, but we can use it to create a thriving pathway that gives many more young surfers the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

Under 18 and adaptive surfers can get financial support though Surfing England via our SportsAid partnership and Team GB surfers can apply for individual funding awards from UK Sport.

Will athletes still need to contribute when representing Team England?

We have a programme to support surfers in financial need which allocated £56K of grants in 2023 to help with the cost of international competition.  The Sport England investment will provide a small amount of additional financial support for international competition, but there will still be a need for athletes to contribute.  For some perspective, we have £50K per programme in year 1 (junior and adaptive), which is less than it costs to fully fund a team for a single world games.

What about events, why are they not included?

We will still be running our full events programme, which is funded thanks to our amazing partners and sponsors.  That will continue to be the case.

What about surf schools and coaching?

The Sport England investment is specific to the areas listed above, but benefits all areas of our work.  Having more capacity within the team and more expertise in key areas like safeguarding will mean more resources available to support surf schools and clubs when they need it most.

What reporting will you provide?

We will be providing regular reporting back to Sport England who will be monitoring their investment and the impact it’s making.   We will provide regular updates to our membership via our newsletter and an annual report as part of our governance requirements which will be shared with our membership and presented at our AGM.

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