After nearly two years of negotiations Surfing GB released the following statement today. The Channel Islands Surfing Federation has been recognised as a National Governing Body in its own right and as such are not tied to the decisions of The English Surfing Federation so it’s good news all round:
We are writing today to inform you about some important changes to our National Governing Body (NGB) application and to proudly detail our plans going forward.
As you may know Surfing GB passed stage one of the two stage NGB application process in 2014. Since then we have been working with UK Sport, Sport England and the ISA (International Surfing Association) as well as the surfing federations of Scotland (SSF), Wales (WSF), the Channel Isles (CISF) and England (ESF) with the vision of establishing a British NGB for Surfing.
We can now report that the state of play has changed since we first set out. The Scottish and Welsh Surfing Federations, and that of the Channel Islands are now recognised in their home nation, by their respective Sports councils, as surfing NGBs. The federations of SSF, WSF and CISF are now ready and eager to govern the sport entirely within their areas, however English surfers and surfing remain unrecognised by Sport England.
With this in mind, and considering the best interests of the majority 82% English membership we serve of surfers, coaches, surf schools and surf clubs, the directors of Surfing GB have decided to focus our organisation and operations on England only as of 2017. To best achieve this we have spent recent months negotiating and working with the committee of the English Surfing Federation, and it is today that we proudly announce plans to merge our two organisations to achieve England ONLY NGB recognition for surfing. This decision has been made for the benefit and future of English Surfers and Surfing.
Sport England have supported this approach through advice and funding for the legal work, which will involve changes to our constitution, and the merger of our organisation with the English Surfing Federation (ESF). We plan to ratify the legal changes at a General meeting in October, and move to full England only NGB application during this coming winter.
Surfing GB will remain in full operation until the end of 2016 after which point the combined volunteer boards of Surfing GB and the ESF will then move forward together as an English surfing NGB.
How these changes will affect me as a member
1. English Surfers and Coaches will continue to receive the same support and NGB accreditation as before with no disruption to service:
the structure and service that has served you and managed your membership or accreditation will remain in place
the same team voluntary SGB directors, with additional volunteers from the ESF will lead the organisation
continued insurance and member benefits
the same professional administrative and managerial staff remain in place
continued ISA/NGB recognition, coaching programmes and accreditation
accreditation by an English/ ISA recognised NGB from 2017 onwards
2. Members in Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands
As of January 2017 we will no longer be able to offer you new or renewed Accreditation or membership. Your membership will be valid until its stated expiry date.
As of January 2017 we will no longer be able to offer you ISA coaching programmes in Wales, Scotland and the Channel Isles
The Surfing GB directors would like to thank you all for your continued support. Together with our fantastic team of professional staff that run day to day NGB operations, we remain committed to ensuring that the NGB service that we have built over the last 5 years is a world class, modern and forward looking organisation.
It is with great sadness that we will soon have to say goodbye to our members, surf schools, surf clubs and coaches from Wales, Scotland and the Channel Islands, and we wish you all the very best of luck in your future in surfing.
We now look forward to a productive and exciting future, and for those English members that will continue to receive our service in future we are stoked that we will be able to offer you a more sharply focussed and targeted support than ever before.
For all administrative enquiries please continue to contact Nick Rees or Sally Lawton in the SGB office via email, and if any of you would like to speak to one of the volunteer directors about the changes we are planning then please feel free to get in touch.
Below are some FAQs for you and a copy of our general release.
We will publish this information publicly at 8:00am.
The Surfing GB Directors