Palaszczuk Government support for surfing in Queensland since 2015 has hit more than $1 million – with fresh funding announced today by Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni set to help the next wave of athletes compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Speaking on the Gold Coast this morning (Friday), Mr de Brenni said the $150,000 partnership between the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) and Surfing Australia “will help ensure our surfers are fully prepared for the Olympics”.
“The Palaszczuk Government will continue to encourage more people to be more active, and surfing is a great way of achieving this,” Mr de Brenni said.
“Elite surfing athletes and surfers in the development system will have access to the best coaches and QAS facilities as they work towards Tokyo.
“Their talent will be nurtured and developed under the watchful eyes of our experts at the state’s leading high-performance hub.”
Mr de Brenni said that with the $150,000 announced today, the government had approved more than $1.1 m since January 2015 to support surfing, including $812,000 for the State Development Program; $31,115 through the Get Going Clubs program; $8800 through the Young Athletes Travel Subsidy, and $50,117 in Get Started Vouchers.
“Some of the world’s best surfers are Queenslanders and hopefully this funding can help unearth the next surfing superstar.”
Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said the prospect of surfers from the Gold Coast – and the rest of the State – competing on the world stage in Tokyo was an “exciting prospect”.
“Queensland and the Gold Coast is already home to some of the world’s best surf breaks, and this new funding and partnership between the QAS and Surfing Australia will help create a key training environment,” she said.
“I’m also excited by the support these athletes will bring along with them, and the potential they have to inspire a whole new generation of fans of surfing and the Olympic movement.”
Surfing Australia National High-Performance Director Kim Crane said she was “stoked to have the QAS on board to help us grow”.
“Surfing Queensland continues to support exciting talent who are fortunate to be working with some great local coaches,” Ms Crane said.
“There’s an impressive elite athlete group in Queensland, including Julian Wilson, Reef Heazlewood, Ethan Ewing, Stephanie Gilmore and Keely Andrew.
“People like Piper Harrison, Sophie McCulloch and Alister Reginato are working hard through the development pathway to obtain similar success.”
Surfing Queensland CEO Adam Yates thanked the Palaszczuk Government for the funding and said it would provide intensive, targeted training.
“The funding will give our athletes access to high-performance training that they otherwise wouldn’t have had,” Mr Yates said.
“This funding, combined with elite coaches at the QAS, shows up and coming surfers that there is a real talent pathway in the sport.”
The landmark decision to include surfing at the Tokyo Games was made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2016 and will feature two events for 20 male and 20 female athletes.
Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Mick de Brenni