Surfing GB is a not for profit, volunteer- led democratic membership organisation that provides a National Governing Body (NGB) service for British surfing. If you are a British Surfer, Surf Coach, Surf Club or Surf School then we are here for YOU! British surfing continues to grow rapidly as a sport for some, as a passion for others, and as a livelihood for those who work in surfing. As it grows, we are here to guide it.
More people are surfing, in more places, spending longer in the water, and at all times of the year. Its great news that the sport that we all love, with its health and social benefits, is being experienced by so many; but with the increasing numbers of people participating, comes a greater need for governance and Surfing GB is embracing the responsibility to represent the needs of those people.
Despite its growth, British Surfing has been starved of UK government funding in recent years because British Surfing doesn’t have a recognised NGB. Surfing GB is writing a Whole Sport Plan (WSP), which is a once in a sporting life opportunity to design the future. We have been writing this for 2 years now and are now at the business end of it, we are engaging with key individuals, committees, companies and organisations to ensure the end product is fit for purpose. Surfing GB has a strategic goal of achieving UK government recognition for surfing, and through a WSP, aims to submit an application for Whole Sports funding in time for the beginning of the next (2017-2021) funding cycle. Whilst our WSP takes our attention, we are simultaneously working to submit our National Governing Body application in mid-2015, and to become a registered charity.
Surfing GB is now 4 years into an epic voyage that has seen it tested from all angles, leaving it trained in the art of governance and today operates as a fit, lean and very keen organisation. However the training has just begun, and although the past is a tale we will tell for years to come, the future is where our focus lies. So our question is; what does the future hold?
To achieve our strategic goals SGB’s vision is to work closely with all the UK surfing federations, and grassroots clubs and schools, to ensure that all surfers in the UK get the best possible chance to contribute to a Whole Sports Plan. The WSP is designed to enable access to the development funding for local clubs and schools that will follow. We have already helped set up clubs to great success and continue to commit our resources to building more. By working with and supporting the national federations, Surfing GB visualises a joined up approach to memberships and affiliations, that will give all UK surfers access to the cost savings and benefits of a UK wide organisation, whilst still supporting their home nation’s federation and local clubs through membership and voluntary support.
Through a WSP we can deliver better facilities for you at beaches, better equipment for your clubs and schools, better opportunities for people with disabilities, better insurance, easier access to surf for less advantaged surfers; better systems of administration and communication, so that surfers like you can get the information you need quicker and more efficiently at a lower cost, and find easier, cheaper, safer ways to access your next surf session.
In 2015 we have made decisions based around you, listening to our current members on a variety of topics including insurance, so we have built personal accident cover into your membership, we are giving you more discounts, with more companies, in more countries.
We recognise the importance of elite performance and will operate our National competitions, to ensure we provide world class events with a professional service, guaranteeing that the opportunity to earn the prestige of a British title and to represent Team GB is accessible to all. SGB will no longer sanction prize money at events and are committed to distributing all funds to develop support for all Surfers. Providing a sustainable event structure that works in line with performance and development pathways and caters for all surfers is the responsibility of a National Governing Body. SGB believe that the elite professional pathway for shortboarders is well provided for in the UK by the UK Pro Surf Tour and recognise this as an important route in the development of elite competitive careers. For surfers wishing to develop their competitive careers in Longboard, SUP and Bodyboard we aim to compliment the great work of the British Longboard Union, British Stand Up Paddle Association and British Body Board club to ensure that their pathways are both accessible and thriving.
All of this will bring forward the day when the performance of British surfers in international competition across all disciplines will once again be up there with the top surfers in the world. World class events and world class facilities, developed by an NGB fit for purpose, will instil a culture of world class performance in our up and coming elite athletes.
We rebuilt the NGB for British Surfing at a tough financial time, so we have had to be cost efficient, and look outside the conventional surf industry brands for sponsors. Our sponsors Calypso, Surfdome, Acer and Korev pack our punch, and thanks must also be given to the multiple companies that have joined us along the way. Our policies and systems had to be new and clean to meet the demands of the modern world. We have invested in a state of the art online administration system, and we have a fantastic team of committed and energetic staff.
We have built a strong foundation. Based on a collective vision and a focus on grassroots surfing, this is our mission from 2015 onwards, join us for the ride.