Give 'em a TASTE IF KIWI.

New Zealand Surfing - - Intro -

Oh what an epic month of sport we have just wit­nessed, our finest ath­letes gave their all and stood proud on the world stage. The Olympics stole the show, with our best per­for­mances ever at the games, and those leg­endary All Blacks kept on keep­ing on. What rose to the sur­face out of all these per­for­mances was, that many were di­rect re­sults of our gov­ern­ment get­ting in be­hind our sports at the top level and in­vest­ing big coin, al­low­ing these ath­letes to pur­sue their dreams and to be amongst the top in their fields, push­ing them­selves for years on end, to peak when it mat­ters. Most of these sports­men and women par­tic­i­pate in sports that do not have an in­dus­try base. For ex­am­ple watch­ing Va­lerie Adams hoist a round ball of steel does not ex­actly cre­ate huge sales in shot-puts, so she has to go out and at­tract spon­sors else­where and rely on gov­ern­ment fund­ing, so I com­mend the gov­ern­ment for fi­nally recog­nis­ing this, af­ter years of lack­lus­tre per­for­mances where it looked like as a proud sport­ing na­tion we would fail to keep up with other nations. Sure some say it’s all a waste of money and they are en­ti­tled to their opin­ion. Yes, I love to watch sport, in fact I love to see Ki­wis do well across the board, whether it be sport, re­cre­ation, or ed­u­ca­tion, if a kiwi is kick­ing ass then I’m giv­ing my sup­port. Sure watch­ing a freak like Usain Bolt or in our sport Kelly Slater, is mind blow­ing but take away those top guys and I’d much rather watch and lend my sup­port to a Kiwi than any of those oth­ers fill­ing the ranks be­low. Surf­ing has al­ways been so lucky to have an in­dus­try har­monised with the sport, so in the past surfers show­ing prom­ise and those at the top of their game have had great fi­nan­cial sup­port from the in­dus­try, al­low­ing them to reach their po­ten­tial, rep­re­sent our coun­try, and take on the best in­ter­na­tion­ally. The sad thing is while these other sports now bask in the lime­light and give the world ‘A taste of Kiwi’, un­for­tu­nately for our top surfers, time hand­ing out these kiwi morsels is dry­ing up. With the world suf­fer­ing tight fi­nan­cial times, surf­ing has not been im­mune and with NZ be­ing at the end of the line in in­ter­na­tional com­pany bud­gets and our mar­ket be­ing small, these com­pa­nies can no longer sup­port many of our surfers do­ing the busi­ness in­ter­na­tion­ally. This year alone we had two Kiwi girls on the World Tour, and our top two male surfers com­pet­ing on the qual­i­fy­ing cir­cuit fin­ished in a po­si­tion un­der the old sys­tem that would have qual­i­fied for the World Tour proper, just as Maz had done. Un­for­tu­nately for them their run was a year too late. Those four surfers, our best! Who also sit up there as some of the worlds best, are all cur­rently with­out a ma­jor fi­nan­cial spon­sor. I’ve seen and heard the sup­port that the Ki­wis get while com­pet­ing in events on the tour, ev­ery­one gets be­hind them, do you think you’d log on to watch an event if there isn’t a Kiwi surf­ing, once Kelly re­tires? To do the tour costs around 50 grand min­i­mum, and while many are un­der the il­lu­sion that some of these surfers are spoilt brats get­ting paid squil­lions, think again. Even the ones that were get­ting fi­nan­cial sup­port were spend­ing ev­ery dime on their travel, ac­com and en­try fees and then still had to beg, bor­row and steal from their par­ents to get them through the year. And then re­turned home for Xmas with not a cent to their names. It will be a sad day if our top Kiwi surfers of the

now and the fu­ture can­not rep­re­sent, sim­ply due to bud­get strings held by in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies that don’t seem to cut back on their own coun­try’s top prospects. What can we do? Per­haps through the lat­est craze so­cial fund­ing, those that are stirred by these words could per­son­ally of­fer these ath­letes some back­ing. Re­cently videog­ra­pher Da­mon Meade tested the wa­ters and gath­ered enough funds pub­licly to sup­port his vi­sion of re­leas­ing a top ech­e­lon NZ Surf Film, a big ups to him and con­grats. And when you look at it like this, for the cost of a pie from each of us, we could help our top surfers ‘Give em a taste of Kiwi’ and I for one would sure as hell pre­fer that taste to mince. So to steal a verse from the 1980s hit song that stirred a nations pride, to razz you all up - Give em a taste of Kiwi, give em the Kiwi guts, Give em the taste of Kiwi, give em no ifs or buts. Give em the taste of Kiwi, show em you’re made of steel, Give em the taste of Kiwi, show em the way you feel. Give em the taste of Kiwi, get there and show ya best, Give em a taste of Kiwi, you’re bet­ter than the rest. Go on give em a taste. Cory Scott and the team at NZ Surf­ing Mag­a­zine


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