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New Zealand Junior Surfing Team returns to El Salvador

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From: Surfing New Zealand
Sport: International Surfing
Event: 2024 Surf City El Salvador ISA World Junior Surfing Championship
Divisions: Under 18 and 16 Boys and Girls
Date: 3-12th May
Location: El Salvador
Websites: ISA World Juniors and Surfing New Zealand

New Zealand Junior Surfing Team returns to El Salvador

A team of dedicated young surfers has been selected for the 2024 Surf City El Salvador ISA World Junior Surfing Championships). Apart from Spencer Rowson (Tara) who returns to the competition in the U18 Men, Alexis Owen U16 Boys and Alani Morse (Rag) and Lola Groube (Pau) returning in the U16 girls the Junior Surfing Team sees the debut of eight of New Zealand’s best junior surfers.

New team member Ariana Walker of Mount Maunganui is “over the moon and so stoked to be chosen for the team especially alongside her Bay of Plenty teammates”. “I lived in Mexico at one point so am really looking forward to getting back into warm water and pumping waves Walker says on her upcoming trip. “I am surfing heaps, hitting the gym and just making sure I am in the best possible form for this amazing opportunity and will represent the fern with pride”.

This will be the second time the Junior Team has been to El Salvador in 3 years with the 2023 edition of the event taking place in Brazil where New Zealand placed 10th.

In the Under 16 Boys Division, talented Dunedin star Alexis Owen, off the back of four straight wins in the NZ Grom Series and silver medalist in the National Surfing Championships makes his 2nd appearance in the New Zealand Junior team, whilst Benji Lowen, who originally comes from Christchurch makes his debut after returning from Australia in time to take out the National Championships in Dunedin and earn his place on the team. Rounding out the U16 boys’ team is Whangamata local, Harrison Biddle. With a goal of earning a spot for himself in the 2024 New Zealand Junior Team Biddle put up an excellent performance all season long solidifying his spot on the team with several finals’ berths.

El Salvador is no stranger to top level competition, being the latest venue for the ISA World Longboard Championship in 2024 as well as the venue for the 2023 ISA World Surfing Games.

Sophia Brock makes her debut in the team in the Under 18 Women’s Division after qualifying as the non-travelling reserve in 2023. Brock who hails from Mount Maunganui and has had a stellar season so far, will travel alongside Bay of Plenty teammate Ariana Walker and Poppy Arkle from Piha.

In the Under 16 Girls, Alani Morse, who is no stranger to top level competition, returns to the junior team in the hopes of bettering her 37th place performance from Brazil in 2023. Lola Groube of Pauanui will also accompany her again after a 19th finish in 2023 and a standout performance in the 2024 NZ Grom Series. Also excited to be representing the silver fern is Northland surfer Indi Lee Ruddell. Making her debut after a consistent season of results, Rudell secured a spot in the team with a win at the third and final event of the 2024 Billabong Grom Series presented by Oceanbridge.

Taimana Marupo (Mnt), makes his debut after becoming the 2024 National Champion in the Under 18 division in Dunedin. Whilst Tai Murphy (Whaka) and Spencer Rowson (Tara) will represent the Under 18 Mens Division after a hard-fought New Zealand Grom Series season.

The team will compete at the 2024 Surf City El Salvador ISA World Junior Surfing Championships from the 3rd – 12th May. New Zealand has been represented at ISA World Junior Championships since 2003 when the junior divisions were separated from the World Surfing Games. Prior to this time the New Zealand Junior Surfing Team attended the World Grommet Titles since its inception in 1989.

The championship is the largest junior surfing event in the world playing host to over 340 surfers from 44 nations in 2024

The 2024 New Zealand Junior Surfing Team is as follows:

Under 18 Men
Taimana Marupo
Tai Murphy https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/support-tai-murphy-to-represent-nz-at-the-2024-isa
Spencer Rowson https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/support-spencer-rowson-to-represent-nz-at-the-isa

Non-travelling Reserve: Joe Goodjohn

Under 18 Women
Poppy Arkle https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/poppy-arkle-representing-nz-at-the-isa-world
Sophia Brock https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/support-sophia-brock-to-represent-nz-at-the-2024
Ariana Walker https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/surfing-wahine-for-the-world-stage

Under 16 Boys
Benji Lowen https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/support-nz-u16-representative-benji-lowen-compete
Alexis Owen Raffle
Harrison Biddle https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/support-harrison-biddle-to-represent-nz-at-the-isa

Non-travelling Reserve: Sam Frazerhurst

U16 Girls
Alani Morse
Lola Groube
Indi-Lee Ruddell https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/indi-lee-isa-world-junior-surfing-games-2024

Non-travelling Reserve: Chloe Groube

About International Surfing Association (ISA)
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Authority for surfing, bodyboarding, SUP and surfing.  It was originally founded as the International Surfing Federation in 1964 and has been running world championships since 1964, and the Junior World Championships since 1980.

Further Information
For further information on the New Zealand Junior Surfing Team please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.

High resolution action images of team members will be available to media free of charge upon request.

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