Close to 100 surfers representing six districts out of three provinces will compete in the 23rd edition of the South African Grommet Games which gets under at Pollock Beach in Port Elizabeth with the opening function next Monday.
Stoked surfers, families and officials from the Cape to KZN will make their way to the Friendly City over the next few days to celebrate this unique surfing tournament together.
The tournament, which is sponsored by Billabong for the seventh year in a row and supported by the Department of Sport and Recreation SA, will officially get under way on Monday evening at 7.00pm when the official opening function takes place in the Victoria Park Grey Primary School Hall.
A highlight of the evening will be a talk by South African surfer and respected Big Wave charger, Matthew Bromley. The Billabong Team rider is an amazing role model and the young surfers at the Grommet Games are bound to enjoy his presentation
The proud hosts of the SA Grommet Games are the Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders, who, as members of the Eastern Cape Surfriders Association have hosted all of the tournaments since the first one was held over Easter in 1992.
Introduced into South African surfing culture after unification in 1991, the Grommet Games is a transformation and development tournament that gives young surfers from around the country an opportunity to compete for their respective districts in a major surfing contest for the first time.
Many South African surfers who began their competitive surfing careers in the Grommet Games have gone on to compete in National Championships and other elite tournaments and a number have represented South Africa in International competitions.
The venue for the event is the Pipe at Pollock Beach which produces consistent, contestable conditions for surfers who are competing in their first ever national contest.
The Billabong SA Grommet Games is regarded by Surfing South Africa as a vital and important tournament and takes its place with distinction alongside other major National events. As it celebrates its 23rd anniversary it can now claim to be one of the defining tournaments on the Surfing South Africa calendar.
Girls and boys from a variety of different cultures and communities are represented across the eight divisions and come from all parts of the South African coast with the youngest surfers in the contest competing in the Under 9 Division and the oldest participants taking part in the competitive Under 15 boys and girls group.
The Grommet Games highlights the transformation process within Surfing South Africa and districts are set strict criteria when it comes to selecting their teams.
While much of the focus is on surfing itself, events such as a paddle battle, beach flags and a tag team surfing competition are included in the activities that make this event so special.
Sponsors Billabong have added even more to this year’s event in the form of “goodie bags” for each contestant which will include a variety of items.
The team that displays the most spirit and support during the contest will win the Team Spirit Trophy and the Team with the highest points total will take home the Mandela Bay Trophy, which was won by Western Province in 2014.
In order to select the appropriate team for this event, provinces have held a series of trials and the result of this process is five wonderful days of social and competitive interaction. An added advantage of holding an event such as this is that Surfing South Africa is able to identify potential national and perhaps even future world champions.
Teams competing at this year’s event are from City of Cape Town Surfriders, Cape Winelands Surfriders, Eden Surfriders, Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders, Buffalo City Surfriders Association and eThekweni Surfriders.
The Billabong SA Grommet Games is supported by the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa, assisted by Lotto funds, presented by Surfing South Africa and hosted by the Nelson Mandela Surfriders.
Surfing South Africa is the recognized governing body for the sport in South Africa and a member of the South African Confederation of Sport and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).