Indigenous Surfing

The Australian Sports Commission’s Indigenous Sport Program (ISP), which works to increase the number of Indigenous people participating in sport, has partnered with Surfing Australia and the University of Queensland to conduct a three-year (2009–11) research project measuring the impacts of sport on Indigenous Australian communities.

It will be funded by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, an international apolitical organisation that uses the positive influence of sport to address social challenges.

The idea for the research project came out of a need, identified by the ISP, to substantiate claims around the benefits of sport with empirical evidence, not just on the basis of anecdotal accounts. “This is the first time that research of this nature has been conducted in this field” said ISP Senior Sports Consultant Richard Kilian.

ISP has formed a useful partnership with the University of Queensland to provide expertise in the development of the research agenda. Similarly, Surfing Australia has joined ISP as the organisation primarily responsible for providing the context and sites in which the study can take place.

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Carissa Moore

Carissa Moore (HAW), 17, won the sixth of seven stops on the ASP Women’s World Tour today, the Gidget Pro Sunset Beach, over fellow finalists Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 19, freshly crowned three-time ASP Women’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, and Vans Triple Crown ratings’ leader Alana Blanchard (HAW), 19, to claim her first ASP Women’s World Tour event victory.

Moore, who entered the Gidget Pro via a Trials’ victory, stamped her authority on ASP Women’s World Tour competition when she surfed with amazing poise and maturity throughout the event’s entirety to eventually win on her home Island of Oahu.

“It’s such an honor,” Moore said. “I’m speechless right now. I never thought that I would make the Final in this event. All of the girls were surfing so well and congratulations to Steph (Gilmore) for winning the World Title.”

Moore is no stranger to ASP Women’s World Tour competition despite her young age, and had already made the Final’s at a Roxy Pro Gold Coast event in 2007 when she earned a Runner-Up finish to Chelsea Hedges (AUS), 26. Having entered previous ASP Women’s World Tour events in the past as a wildcard, the young Hawaiian looked comfortable in the heightened level of competition.

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Stephanie Gilmore

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, has claimed her third consecutive ASP Women’s World Title today, making history as the only surfer ever to win the prestigious crown each year they have competed at the elite ASP World Tour level (men’s or women’s).

The clinching was somewhat unexpected as today’s competition began with six surfers in contention for the 2009 ASP Women’s World Title. With each heat advancement and the narrowing of the field at the Gidget Pro Sunset Beach, Event No. 6 of 7 on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour, the irrepressible Gilmore navigated her way to her third ASP Dream Tour Title.

“It’s surreal to win for a third time,” Gilmore said. “It’s amazing! I woke up this morning and knew it was going to be a good day. The waves were building and you sort of get that fuzzy feeling throughout the day. I really don’t even know what to think about it. I just want to thank everyone for the support that I’ve had throughout the whole year.”

Gilmore, who was focused on preparing for the Final at the Gidget Pro Sunset Beach, had remained intentionally aloof to the ASP Women’s World Title possibilities on the final day of competition, and was surprised when informed she had clinched the historic crown.

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