Athlete and Coach Workshop Scheduled with Support From IOC Olympic Solidarity Fund

New Zealand’s top surfers and surfing minds will come together this December at a high performance athlete and coach workshop. The workshop will commence preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games where surfing will be contested for the first time.

The two day workshop is supported by the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Olympic Solidarity Fund after a successful application to the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC).

The workshop has been developed around the availability of our top athletes who have been enthusiastic to see this collaborative initiative take place and keen to have input into the process.

Likewise, a number of New Zealand’s top surfing minds have been engaged and are looking forward to coming together and developing a high performance pathway that not only has a focus on Tokyo 2020, but also a wider pathway to international success for our country’s top surfers.

New Zealand’s two top ranked surfers Paige Hareb (Tara) and Ricardo Christie (Gis) will be back in the country to attend.  At present, both surfers have an outstanding chance at qualifying for the World Surf League (WSL) 2018 World Tour three months out from the completion of the Qualifying Series.

Hareb currently sits in ninth place and Christie sits in 11th place, the two needing to finish in the top six and ten respectively to guarantee qualification.

Hareb and Christie will be joined at the workshop by the likes of Ella Williams (WGM), Billy Stairmand (Rag) and Kehu Butler (Mnt) plus a number of New Zealand’s top surfers both current and up-and-coming.

“The inclusion of surfing in the Olympics has opened new high performance opportunities for surfing in the last twelve months since it was announced as being part of Tokyo 2020.  Opportunities include this workshop as well as funding for Paige Hareb through High Performance Sport New Zealand and we anticipate this support increasing” said Surfing New Zealand’s Lee Ryan.

“We are looking forward to the workshop and having valuable input from athletes, both past and present, plus knowledge via coaches and athletes from inside and outside the sport of surfing” added Ryan.

Speakers at the workshop to date include Dr Oliver Farley who completed his doctorate at the Surfing Australia High Performance Centre along with New Zealand’s leading surf coach, Matt Scorringe from The Art of Surfing and sports psychologist Jhan Gavala.  Drug Free Sport New Zealand will also update athletes and coaches on clean sport and the responsibilities of Olympic athletes.

The qualification process for Tokyo 2020 will be determined by the IOC and the International Surfing Association by the end of 2017.  This will provide a clear picture for our athletes in terms of what they need to do in order to qualify and what time frames they will need to observe.

A total of 20 males and 20 females will compete at the Olympic Games and New Zealand can qualify a maximum of one athlete in each division.  Once New Zealand qualifies an athlete, they will then require selection from the NZOC to represent New Zealand.

The two day workshop will take place at Raglan on the 9th – 10th December

Further Information
For further information on the workshop please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

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