So a lot of money being is about to be pumped into British surfing. But many of you may be asking “What is Britsurf?”, and “How will the money be used? We asked Britsurf spokesman Nick Hounsfield.
So first up what is British Surf and how does it work?
The Home Federations ( England, Scotland, Wales and Channel Islands) came together with the purpose of collaborating on all matters that may involve a “British” team. The federations meet generally as needed and have constant dialogue with UKSport, British Olympic Association and the International Surfing Association.
How long did it take to get the bid together?
Actually, it couldn’t take long as we had only about 10 days between the Aspiration Fund being announced and needing to submit for it. Thankfully we have experienced bid writers amongst us that could turn it around quickly.
You must be really happy given the medal hopes criteria? What is the money for and how will it be used? Obviously given the devolution and separate national governing bodes a lot of people are going to be asking how the money will be split to develop surfing in each area. Do you have any criteria for that?
Any opportunity to receive this kind of funding for the sport is extremely exciting. To be clear, this “Aspiration Fund” is geared towards supporting athletes who have Olympic qualification potential but also we needed to demonstrate how this funding can be utilised to drive clear, demonstrable social impact through Surfing. As these funds are from UKSport, there is very clear guidance on who receives funding and how it is spent to produce the greatest positive impact. It is our role now to show our ability to manage the process, manage the funding and measurement the impact it has. There is a mountain of work ahead and it is all done on a voluntary basis within the federations.
Are you going to be engaging any prominent sports scientists?
There are some really great blueprints out there of how to deliver an athlete performance programme and we do have real expertise within the federations. Support is also available from UKSport and we have access to a whole network of experts and professionals who can help and advise.
The money pumped into things like bob sleigh and rowing made a huge difference. Are you hoping for the same?
We have a great sport and we have great athletes in Britain. For too many years our talent and potential has been unfulfilled due to financial or organisational constraints.
We truly believe that with this funding comes a responsibility to start to build the sport for the future, to be able to create a progressive structure for those who want to compete at the highest level whilst inspiring the future generations to get into this sport and build a healthy surf community. This funding is a great first step towards achieving this.