Surfing needs commitment, resources — Wilmot
ORGANISER of the MAKKA PRO surfing tournament, Billy Wilmot, believes local surfing has a bright future but thinks there are difficulties the sport must first overcome before it can strive on the local circuit.
Speaking with the Jamaica Observer at the conclusion of the 2012 staging of the island's lone surfing tournament at Southhaven beach last Sunday, Wilmot explained that although the sport has the potential to flourish in Jamaica, it requires a lot of commitment and resources.
"Surfing is one such sport that requires a lot of commitment. It is not a sport like football where you can buy a ball and 22 kids can have a game.
"If you have 22 kids in surfing, you need 22 surf boards... and the money for each one of those surf boards could buy a few dozen balls, so it's expensive in that respect," he said.
"So when a youngster takes on the sport, even if he is very good at it, he will need the right support, equipment, training and coaching, or it will be very difficult for him to excel," he added.
"So those are some of the things that our development in the sport is up against, but the more we can have events like this (MAKKA PRO), the more our young surfers will be encouraged to come out and represent their country and improve their skills," he said.
The reggae musician said surfing sponsors are always on the look-out for the next rising star in the sport and he believes once they continue to improve the MAKKA PRO product and produce world-class surfers locally, the possibilities are endless.
"People from all around the world and sponsors who sponsor surfers because of their abilities... are always on the look-out for the next rising star in the sport.
"We have a stage on which to present our rising stars for the world to choose and support," he said.
Jamaica's best finish at the tournament came in the Junior category, with Elishame Beckford placing third behind Barbados' Dane Mackie and American Nathan Behl.