Member for Kiama Gareth Ward MP has today announced that the world’s top 48 bodyboards will make their way to Kiama at the end of this month for the inaugural Kiama Bodyboard King Pro.
Mr Ward made the announcement at Kiama Surf Club today and was joined by the Mayor of Kiama Mark Honey and representatives from Surfing NSW, the Association of Professional Bodyboarding and professional bodyboarders Lilly Pollard and Ben Player.
The elite World Grand Slam event will run from 30th July –9th August and be mobile between Cronulla’s Shark Island and the South Coast, however Kiama will be utilised as the main hub for competition days.
“I am beyond stoked to finally have Australia play host to the World Tour in our backyard,” said Association of Professional Bodyboarding (APB) CEO Alex Leon.
“We have worked extremely hard for years to bring the tour back to Australia and with the great support of Surfing NSW, Kiama Council and Destination NSW we can finally showcase our sport to the Australian community and hope it helps the development and participation of the sport of bodyboarding in Australia,” Alex said.
Gareth Ward MP for Kiama said that the Kiama Bodyboard King Pro from 30th July-9th August was great news for our region.
“This 11-day bodyboarding competition to be held in Kiama will see the top 32 men and top 16 women of the world compete in various beaches of the Kiama region to become the champion of the Australian Grand Slam,” he said.
“I’m very pleased to see the local wildcards getting a crack. I’m proud to be supporting this event. It’s a terrific drawcard for our region and will provide a real boost for local tourism and the hospitality industry in Kiama and surrounding suburbs during this event,” Mr Ward said.
The Mayor of Kiama Mark Honey added: “To host the world’s best bodyboarders is another amazing opportunity for the Kiama area to once again show off its beautiful beaches to an international sporting audience,” he said.
“Surf Beach is the perfect location for a world-class bodyboarding competition, with its ideal bodyboarding conditions for the athletes and many vantage points for fans to watch the action at close range.
“The Kiama area is proud of its reputation as a nursery for bodyboarding talent, with Surf Beach a hotspot for our youngsters to develop their skills for competing around Australia and overseas,” Mayor Honey said.
Wildcards for the event include local Jase Finlay, 2016 Shark Island Challenge Champion Mitch Rawlins, six-times Australian Champion Lilly Pollard, World Title runner-up David Winchester and Bodyboard King wildcard and former World Champion Ben Player.
Kiama’s Surf Beach will host an array of different happenings on the 4th and 5th August with a Pro Junior Series event, coaching clinics with nine-times World Champion Mike Stewart (Hawaii) and the Australian Women’s professional – Lilly Pollard (The Bodyboard Academy). There will also be the “Fling 4 Bling” tow out air show pending wave size.
Event industry sponsors Science and ISS will also have a display range of products for testing by the public with i98FM will be live broadcasting with prizes and giveaways on offer for all spectators.