HOW WE CHOSE THE ATHLETES
The selection criteria for this pilot was simple: we needed four athletes on the cusp of launching a QS campaign, with runs on the board in local events and with the raw, natural talent to warrant the investment.
Dunedin’s Elliott Brown, 17, was a sure thing thanks to his President’s Award. Jonas Tawharu, 18, of Mount Maunganui, was an obvious choice along with Hamilton’s Caleb Cutmore – our youngest at just 15. Then we were able to draft in Kaya Horne, 16, back from the Gold Coast, where he has been turning heads.
The spread of ages was not by happenstance. We wanted to learn which age would get the most benefit from the camp so we could finetune the selection process for future editions. Overwhelmingly, all four surfers came with impeccable references for their strength of character, drive and ability.
What we’re able to learn from this camp is what helps to inform future ones. There was a lot of quality discussion around how we might manage an all-female surf athlete camp. This came with a general recognition that getting more than one of our female athletes on to the CT was not just a matter of if, but when. But, before that happens we still need to see proof of life of the concept.