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Primary School Champs to kick off big week of School aged Surfing  

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For immediate release 

21st September 2023

From: Surfing New Zealand 
Sport: Junior Surfing 
Events: 2023 Sticky Johnson Primary School Championships presented by Skullcandy and National Scholastic Surfing Championships
Dates: 23-24 September and 25-29 September
Location: Gisborne, Midway Beach Gisborne, Makorori (Redbus)
Event Info: Surfing New Zealand

Primary School Champs to kick off big week of School aged Surfing

Over 80 frothing groms are to descend on Gisborne this weekend with the Sticky Johnson Primary School Champs presented by Skullcandy taking place over two days (23rd-24th September). The annual event which provides a stepping stone in to competitive surfing kicks off a massive week of school aged surfing with the National Scholastic Secondary School Champs immediately after to be held at Redbus, Makorori.

With the 2022 event providing some perfect waves in less-than-ideal weather the kiwi groms have been waiting in anticipation for the event to come around again hopefully this time with a bit of sunshine. Kicking off on Saturday, groms from the length of the country will be bringing their best form to the waves. This will be many participants first time competing at a national level, so a user-friendly round robin format is in place giving every participant three chances at having a go before the top ranked surfers face off in finals. 

With the event again being held in Gisborne, Midway Beach will be the primary venue.  Gisborne Council have continued to be extremely accommodating despite the devastation that the east coast has faced over the past year, and we look forward to bringing the frothing groms to Tairawhiti and contributing to the local businesses. Should Midway Beach not provide safe fun conditions for the groms, additional coastal options will come into play.

The Sticky Johnson Primary School Championships presented by Skullcandy are the entry point for New Zealand’s youngest surfers that want to compete at a national level. The hugely popular event offers up an opportunity for first-time participants there to give it a go and have fun, the chance to experience what it is like to compete against their peers around Aotearoa.  They learn, they enjoy themselves and they make new friends. 

The event also offers up the perfect platform for the savviest of young groms, some who were almost born on a surfboard and are seasoned campaigners the chance to battle it out against their closest rivals.  Some of these young surfers are regularly participating in domestic events and some starting to venture overseas to face off against the best Australia has to offer. 

Past event champions include New Zealand’s finest such as Olympian Ella Williams (WGM), New Zealand representative’s Ava Henderson (Chch) and Kehu Butler (Mnt).  

The event has grown over the years to now include a Year 7 & 8 Division and Year 6 and Under for the boys and girls.  The nation’s top club is also rewarded, with Bay Boardriders of Mount Maunganui being three-time defending champions this year.  

In what is to be a massive week of school surfing, immediately after the Primary School Champs at Midway beach over 120 secondary school students will make their way to Makorori for the 2023 National Scholastic Secondary School Surfing Championships. 

The National Scholastic Surfing Championships has been held since 1989. The event, which has unearthed two generations of top Kiwi talent, takes place along Gisborne’s coastline from 25– 29 September. The event comprises eight age group divisions for males and females across both shortboard and longboard disciplines.  

Twelve regional teams from throughout the country contest the event with eleven teams in attendance in 2023 vying for both individual titles as well as the overall team title. Auckland is the defending champion at the event having won the event in Taranaki waters in 2022. A record 128 surfers are participating at the event in 2023 after having qualified to represent their twelve person teams via a series of regional events held during winter months. 

 The final day of the event is being streamed on the Whakaata Maori YouTube channel.

The draw, live scores and all other information can be found by searching Surfing New Zealand on www.liveheats.com or Here. 

Further Information
For further information on the 2023 Sticky Johnson Primary School Champs pres by Skullcandy and the National Scholastic Surfing Championships please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz. 

High resolution action images of the surfing will be available to media free of charge upon request.  

Social Media
Keep up with all the action by following @surfingnz on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.   

Generous support from Sticky Johnson and presenting sponsors Skullcandy, has made the Primary School Champs event possible along with Eastern and Central Community Trust.  The event is proudly hosted by Gisborne Boardriders.  

The 2022 National Scholastic Surfing Championships is sanctioned by Surfing New Zealand, Secondary School Sport NZ. The event is made possible with the support of Pub Charity.  

The National Scholastic Secondary School Champs are supported by the New Zealand Sports Collective, Whakaata Maori, Caltex, Bayleys, Apollo Projects, Pure Athletic and NZ Carbon Farming.

Surfing New Zealand is proudly partnered by:
Sport NZ  
Water Safety NZ  


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