We trust you are all staying safe and well through this difficult time. Surfing New Zealand staff and board have been working hard from home over the last 2 weeks, managing the impact of postponed events and developing financial forecasts for various scenarios that might play out with Covid-19.
We have a board meeting next week, after which we will provide an update on our financial situation and plans for the next three months.
Coronavirus and Surfing
Firstly, a big thank you to the vast majority of you who are seeing and acting on the bigger picture and have not been surfing, especially since the more official ban put in place last Thursday. Trust me, we share your frustration about this situation. Yes, there is a strong fact-based argument to be made that surfing is significantly less dangerous and demanding on rescue/medical resources than cycling. Yes, you could argue that surfing has been unfairly singled out. Right now, please stay at home, don’t go surfing. Keep thinking big picture. Save Lives.
Having said all of that, Surfing NZ is in almost daily contact with Sport NZ, to understand the position on surfing and sports activity in general. In particular, we along with all other sports are engaged with government via Sport NZ, to seek the best possible increase in physical activity under level 3. It is helpful that the Finance Minister Grant Robertson is also the Minister for Sport.
International Events – no doubt you are all aware that the Tokyo Olympics have been postponed until July 2021.
Great news for Ella Williams and Billy Stairmand – their provisional qualification spots are safe. Others will endeavour to qualify through the World Surfing Games in El Salvador, which has been suspended with the ISA suggesting that subject to the Covid-19 situation globally, they intend to run it in the last quarter of this year.
At this stage, the 2020 World Longboard and World Junior Surfing Championships are yet to be scheduled by the ISA.
Team selections will not take place until dates and locations are announced, and we will let you know when this happens.
There are no updates or changes regarding SNZ sanctioned events that were scheduled for April and May. These all remain suspended at this stage. We remain hopeful of resuming our event program September 26-27 with the Sticky Johnson Primary School Champs pres by Skullcandy in Gisborne, but will of course be guided by government alert level status and related restrictions.
We are fortunate to have secured an International Olympic Committee funding grant, to help in preparing for the Olympics. This is not just about the few lucky enough to qualify for the 2021 event, as we have an eye already to the 2024 Olympics as well. The current lockdown has caused some significant challenges, but we are developing an alternative short-term plan for an eight person NZ Olympics Squad, and will announce that Squad and support staff next week.