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New Zealand Junior Surfing Team heads to El Salvador

New Zealand Junior Surfing Team heads to El Salvador

A strong new team has been selected for the 2022 Surf City El Salvador ISA World Junior Surfing Championships today (Tuesday 8th March). Apart from Kora Cooper (Rag) who returns to the competition in the U18 Boys, Ava Henderson (Chch) and Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara) returning in the U18 girls the Junior Surfing Team sees the debut of nine of New Zealand’s best junior surfers.

Veteran team member Natasha Gouldsbury returns for the last time in the Under 18 Girls Division. “I am over the moon and so stoked to be chosen for the team especially alongside three close friends of mine from Taranaki”. Off the back of some great results this season including two wins in the Billabong Grom Series, Gouldsbury says her hard work has finally paid off and she is stoked to be representing New Zealand again in her last year of junior surfing.

This will be the first time the Junior Team has been away since 2019 and the first World Junior Championships since that year due to the ongoing global pandemic.

In the Under 16 Boys Division talented goofy footer Tao Mouldey (Mnt), off the back of three straight wins in the Billabong Grom Series and Under 16 Boys Division National Champion Jack Tyro (Chch) make their debut into the New Zealand Junior Team. ”A few years ago, I set myself a goal to get into the Canterbury Team” says Jack Tyro.”And to think I have now been chosen to represent New Zealand in the ISA Junior World Championships is unbelievable. This will be my first time travelling to another country apart from Australia, so I am stoked and really excited for this opportunity”.

El Salvador is no stranger to top level competition, being the latest venue for the World Surfing Games/Olympic qualifier where Paige Hareb placed 11th in 2021. It will again be the host for the 2023 Olympic Games qualifications.

Ava Henderson also returns to the team in the Under 18 Girls Division alongside Liv Haysom (Piha) and Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara). Tao Mouldey (Mnt), Jack Tyro (Chch) and Spencer Rowson (Tara) represent the Under 16 Boys while Leia Millar (Piha), Pia Rogers (WGM) and Skylar McFetridge (Tara) make their debut in the Under 16 Girls Division. After a hard-fought New Zealand Grom Series, Finn Vette (Gis), Kora Cooper and Kalani Louis (Tara) will represent the Under 18 Boys Division.

The team will compete at the 2022 Surf City El Salvador ISA World Junior Surfing Championships from the 27th May – 5th June. New Zealand has been represented at ISA World Junior Championships since 2003 when the junior divisions were separated from the World Surfing Games. Prior to this time the New Zealand Junior Surfing Team attended the World Grommet Titles since its inception in 1989.

The championship is the largest junior surfing event in the world playing host to over 340 surfers from 44 nations in 2022.

The 2022 New Zealand Junior Surfing Team is as follows:

Under 18 Boys Division
Finn Vette (Gis)
Kalani Louis (Tara)
Kora Cooper (Rag)

Non-travelling Reserve: Tyler Perry (Kaik)

Under 18 Girls Division
Ava Henderson (Chch)
Liv Haysom (Piha)
Natasha Gouldsbury (Tara)

Non-travelling Reserve: Anna Brock (Mnt)

Under 16 Boys Division
Jack Tyro (Chch)
Spencer Rowson (Tara)
Tao Mouldey (Mnt)

Non-travelling Reserve: Rakiatea Tau (Chch)

Under 16 Girls Division
Leia Millar (Piha)
Pia Rogers (WGM)
Skylar McFetridge (Tara)

Non-travelling Reserve: Sophia Brock (Mnt)

About International Surfing Association (ISA)
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Authority for surfing, bodyboarding, SUP and surfriding. It was originally founded as the International Surfing Federation in 1964 and has been running world championships since 1964, and the Junior World Championships since 1980.

Further Information
For further information on the New Zealand Junior Surfing Team please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email benkennings@surfingnz.co.nz.
Imagery High resolution action images of team members will be available to media free of charge upon request.

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Author: Dan Westerkamp