Surfing GB and the English Surfing Federation are proud to announce plans for a merger of their organisations. Building on the expertise of Surfing GB (SGB) and the heritage of the English Surfing Federation (ESF), the united body will create a unified National Governing Body for the sport of surfing in England, and will be known as the English Surfing Federation.
This decision made for the benefit and future of English Surfers and Surfing. A timeframe has been agreed with the International Surfing Association (ISA) and Sport England for the transition to a single consolidated body. With support and funding provided by Sport England; the day to day and legal work associated with this game changing decision is already underway. Scheduling an expected completion date for NGB recognition with Sport England by March 2017.
“We are pleased that Surfing GB and the English Surfing Federation are joining forces to become a stronger voice for surfing in England. The new English Surfing Federation will be able to not only articulate the needs of those already surfing but also reach out to those considering taking up the sport.” said Sport England’s Director of Sport Phil Smith.
In line with this public announcement a message of business as usual has been expressed by both organisations, with staff and volunteers continuing to work to deliver NGB services to the members. Both organisations invite members to a joint Extraordinary General Meeting to be held in Perranporth on Saturday October 8th during the British National Surf Championships event.
“This exciting change will bring about the formal recognition of the National Governing Body (NGB) by Sport England and open the door for applications for sports funding to be made, which has long been the desire for both organisations” Andy Sturt, ESF Chairman. “The timing of this merger comes at a key moment for Surfing in England with consistent growth of our beloved sport and even the potential for Olympic inclusion on the horizon”.
Bruce Daniel, Chair of SGB said “the need for bringing in government support and funding to Surfing and the real prospect of Olympic inclusion for surfing in the coming years, means it is vital that we get official government recognition for English Surfers, alongside those of Wales and Scotland who already enjoy that recognition in their home nations. This change will mean that English surfers have a voice at highest level. We would like to thank our Welsh, Scottish and Channel Islands members for their support as we are confident that they will receive great service from their Home Nation Federations going forward”.
Nick Rees, operations manager of SGB who will oversee the technical work of the merger said: “This is fantastic news for English surfers and we can’t wait to bring about this change, I can reassure our members and affiliated clubs and schools that there will be no disruption to service, with all operations continuing as normal as we build a better future”.
SGB has developed significantly since its inception in 2010 and now finds itself with a professionally staffed office, dedicated Volunteers, and a large membership of surfers, surf clubs, surf schools and coaches. This success has also been seen through the consistent delivery of National events and the attraction of committed sponsors and a professional service to members
The merger will breathe energy into the developing English NGB. With over 40 years of history the ESF brings a wealth of experience to the relationship. Engaging with higher educational establishments it passes on its knowledge and administrative skills in sports development and organisation. An institution that has truly stood the test of time; its appeal has seen support from local businesses through to international sponsorships. The English National championships feature as a highlight of the competitive surfing calendar; serving as a selection event for attendance at the annual European championships across the disciplines of shortboard, longboard, stand up paddle and Bodyboard.
The months ahead will be a time for planning and progress leading to the Extraordinary General Meeting in October. The proposed new English Surfing Federation looks forward to the future, working with the English surfing community, the Federations of Wales, Scotland and the Channel Islands. The organisations now move forward with a commitment to ensuring the same professionalism, dedication and success that has been enjoyed in recent years.