- 07 October 2011 | Surfing
Hawaii has become the first US State to make surfing an official high school sport. Neil Abercrombie, governor of the Pacific Islands, announced a project to allow Hawaii public high school students to be able to compete in school sanctioned surf competitions.
The contests will kick off in spring 2013 and will result in having surfing and surfers ranked alongside with other popular sports like football, basketball and soccer.
Despite support from parents and students, funding for programs and other challenges kept surfing from becoming a sanctioned high school sport in 2004, the year when the Hawaii State Board of Education approved surfing as a high school sport. All young surfers competing through high schools will be covered by family insurance policies.
"Hawaii is the birthplace of surfing. From Duke Kahanamoku to the thousands of residents and visitors who surf both recreationally and competitively, the sport is rooted in our culture and way of life," said Abercrombie.
"Bringing surfing to our students is another step in our collective goal to transform public education and provide our children with rich and diverse educational opportunities", he added. The announcement was made near the statue of Duke Kahanamoku, father of modern surfing, in Waikiki.
Carissa Moore, 2011 ASP Women’s World Tour champion, joined the special event. "Surfing has been a really big part of my life growing up and has taught me so many life lessons," said Moore.
"I think surfing is definitely a really good outlet for a lot of teens and young kids. And it’s a way to channel a lot of energy into something positive. So yeah, this is really awesome".