A lot more than you’d think. For starters, Sea Harvest and Surfing South Africa (SSA) have just signed a R250 000 sponsorship agreement as an investment in youth and junior surfing in South Africa. This well-timed sponsorship comes just before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. And we say, "well-timed" because for the first time in the history of the Olympics, surfing will officially be recognised as an Olympic sport.
With that being said, the two companies (SSA and Sea Harvest) have even more in common – something that makes this particular partnership the perfect fit. They’re both driven by and completely invested in the sea, with Sea Harvest running a well-known fishing business from both South Africa and Australia and dispatching their products across 22 countries, the world over. Established in 1964, Sea Harvest began as a small company based in Saldanha Bay on the Atlantic West Coast of South Africa. Today the brand is a household name and a leader in the frozen fish market. Just last year the brand was recognised as one of South Africa’s Top 10 Iconic Brands.
Just over two hours outside of the Sea Harvest’s first base, lies the SSA headquarters, in Muizenberg, Western Cape. And just as Sea Harvest is a leader within its category, so too is Surfing South Africa. SSA is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) as well as the International Surfing Association (ISA).
So, how do SSA and Sea Harvest plan on making a splash at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics? With only four years to ready themselves, hard work will be a key factor, of course. Coupled with an increase in regular surfing competitions at a more junior level to pick out up-and-coming talent from the herd.
Sea Harvest’s investment will be put to good use here, providing key support in allowing young, budding South African surfers to refine their skills at a more competitive level. It’ll also assist in enabling SSA to cast a wider net, reaching more communities, more surfers, more outreach initiatives, school events and interclub activities. To top it all off, six ‘Under 18’ male and female surfers that take part in the SSA selection process will qualify for a share in a Surfing Scholarship, worth R10 000 each, at the end of 2017.
In May, at the East London Surfing contest, the premier U16 Girls Division was won by S’nenhlanhla Makhubu. She began her surfing career at the SA Grommet Games and has progressed through the ranks at a steady pace. She is earmarked as one of the Sea Harvest Scholarship recipients and has every chance of being selected to represent South Africa at the World Junior Championships in Japan in September. She only turns 15 in July so by the time the Olympics comes around she could well be in the South African team.
This idea of progression in the sport of surfing is part of what motivated Sea Harvest to sign the sponsorship agreement with SSA. After all, the brand already has a prolific CSI portfolio! Added to that, this affords the brand the opportunity to become a recognised presence at popular surfing events such as the annual South African Grommet Games, the 2017 South African Junior Championships in Jeffrey’s Bay and the 2017 SA Junior Team programme. Now that’s what we call savouring the sea.