Piha pro cancelled: A sad day for New Zealand surfing
As the surfing community digests the cancellation of the most prestigious event in New Zealand’s history, the national body running the sport might be set for a cutback of its own.
Next Monday was planned to be the start of the biggest week for New Zealand’s surfing, but the global spread of coronavirus put paid to the Piha Pro, which attracted an impressive field to the country, including Kelly Slater – the 11-time men’s world champion, Adriano de Souza – the 2015 men’s champion, as well as Carissa Moore – the four-time and current women’s champion.
This day is also a sad day for some other sports, waiting to hear how big their slice of the funding pie of Sport New Zealand will be.
There are rumors that some national sporting organizations are in for a rude shock.
A famous national surfing identity claimed that the New Zealand Surfing Organization was considering a funding cut of above 50% from their recent figure of $50,000 per annum.
The Herald tried to confirm that figure with Surfing New Zealand but it received no response. On Monday morning, Sport New Zealand will announce the funding.
If the 50% cut is true, there would be irony given surfing has made it on to the Olympic program for the first time and the country has already qualified Ella Williams and Billy Stairmand, with an opportunity of two more joining them.
However, the greater irony might be the fact that it was reducing funding to its NSO at the same time when the central Government was pouring $1.65 million into the privately run as well as promoted Piha Pro.
There is no revenue that is generated by the World Surf League was obligated to go back into the sport.
The week before the funding announcement is often a high anxiety time for NSOs, especially those who administer niche or minor codes.
Sport New Zealand has announced that the funding’s future rounds are going to be made in alignment with their Strategic Plan 2020-2024, containing five investment principles, the top one being a move towards investing in a program that encourages participation.