Give 'em a TASTE IF KIWI.
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
THE WATER MAY BE COLD AND BROWN, BUT IT SURE IS A TASTE OF KIWI. CORY PHOTO: