CAPE TOWN – With lockdown restrictions easing and regulations changing, many industries are appealing for the lifting of bans.
Surfing South Africa has submitted an appeal to the government for the lifting of the ban on ocean sports during lockdown.
Surfing South Africa is an official representative for the sport of surfing in South Africa. The body is also member of SASCOC (South African Sports Council Olympic Committee), International Surfing Association and WSL (World Surf League).
With a few types of exercise permitted under certain regulations, such as jogging, walking and cycling, the surfing community felt they needed to be considered equally sparking protests and numerous beaches throughout South Africa.
“Surfing is an ocean sporting activity that is carried out on the waves. All ocean sports, by their very nature, are naturally self-distancing. They require a person to have an existing level of expertise in the ocean and have minimal environmental impact.” Surfing South Africa said in the statement.
Surfing is a healthy sport and increases lung capacity and efficiency Surfing South Africa said and added, “Surfing is practiced in the ocean, away from land and therefore surfers are not exposed to many of the environmental risks experienced by runners or cyclists.”
Attached is a document prepared by the Board of Directors of Surfing South Africa and submitted to government to permit ocean sports and specifically surfing as exercise under Lockdown.
The statement continues to cover benefits beyond the physical aspect making a mention the sports economic impact and mental benefits saying “Surfing is recognised as an effective method of addressing a wide range of social challenges, from mental trauma in the youth at risk, to programs for disabled individuals.”
The document mentions possible issues of overcrowding on beaches and suggests the solution of closing the specific beaches if the case arises, but goes on to point out how surfing does not typically result in congregation of groups and in most cases a solo act of exercise requiring no physical contact with others.
The appeal has gained much support with South Africa having over 20 000 competitive and recreational surfers throughout the country.
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