New Zealand Surfing - - The Connectors -

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.

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