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  • Writer's pictureHermann Vivier

The Surfer Kids’ First Grommet Games Medal

The Surfer Kids have won their first South African Grommet Games surfing medal after attending the historical event 5 times since 2012.

The Surfer Kids is a Mossel Bay based non-profit organisation working to “empower youths from marginalised communities through surfing.” Children from the organisation attended the South African Grommet Games as part of the Southern Cape / Eden Surf Riders Team, in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017. While some of the organisation’s children have in the past won medals in the flags competition at the SA Grommet Games, this was the organisation’s first surfing medal.

7-year old Owethu ‘Sam’ Tabata have been a participant in The Surfer Kids’ Core Surf Program since April 2016 and this was Sam’s first time travelling to Nelson Mandela Bay to compete in the Grommet Games. Despite the unfamiliarity he surfed his way into the closely contested u8 Final, where he put in a strong performance and finished 3rd, taking home a bronze medal and a Grommet Games Stars trophy, awarded to inspirational surfers who performed well throughout the event.

Sam’s performance was part of a determined effort by the Eden Surf Riders Team as they surfed their way into 5th position overall, producing their best ever result in the twenty five year history of the Grommet Games. Other than Sam’s berth in the u8 Final, the Eden team’s only other finalist was River Gericke, who surfed superbly throughout the event to win the highly competitive u12 division.

The coveted Mandela Bay Trophy, awarded to the team with the highest point tally after the four day long event, was again won by the Cape Town Surfriders Grommet Team. 2017 marked their 6th consecutive win at the Grommet Games and another very strong performance by the Cape Town team saw them beating their traditional rivals eThekweni into 2nd place. Surfers from the Cape Town Surfriders team dominated the final surfing results producing ten finalists across the eight divisions to win the Surfing Trophy.

Cape Town Surfriders also successfully defended their 2016 Sea Harvest Aloha Cup in the Tag Team surfing event, beating Nelson Mandela Bay into second place for the second year in a row, with Cape Winelands and Buffalo City finishing third and fourth respectively.

Over 120 girls and boys ranging from Under 8 to Under 16 represented eight Districts at this annual event which is Surfing South Africa’s premier entry level inter-provincial tournament. The SA Grommet Games is a national tournament with a 25 year history. The first Grommet Games was held in 1991. The primary focus of the event is on transformation and development within the sport of surfing. Strict transformation targets are set when selecting teams for the four days of competition.

The 2017 South African Grommet Games was presented and run by Surfing South Africa and hosted by Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders. Surfing South Africa (SSA) is the recognised governing body for the sport of surfing in South Africa. SSA is a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).

The full results are available on:

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