The Surfing Association of Papua New Guinea Need your help with donations of any old or new Surf gear.
SURFNEWS.Papua New Guinea Surf Donation Project
A few years back (2010) I noticed that there was a surfboard donation project run by Andrew Abel from the Surfing Association of PNG (SAPNG) along the east coast of Australia (Sunshine Coast to Sydney). I always wondered whether it was successful, and after a few surf trips to PNG, I decided to contact Andrew (SAPNG) and enquire whether the donation worked. Andrew said that it was overwhelmingly successful, but due to a high attrition rate of surfboards, i.e surfing over reefs, with little availability for repairs, the boards quickly became unusable.
It was then that I asked whether Andy would be interested in running another donation project, this time in Victoria. I mentioned that I could assist him with collecting the donations, and Andy jumped at the opportunity, and so the Victorian PNG Surf Donation Project was born!
We forwarded our ideas on how the project could run, and I suggested that we needed to cover off both the West and East coasts of Victoria with advertising posters, emails to boardrider clubs and as many facebook posts as possible!. I would be happy to be the contact person for any enquiries, and Andy would sort freight and shipping to Port Moresby in PNG.
Once we had this basic plan of how the project would run, Andy invited me up to Melbourne, for a premiere screening of a documentary movie about PNG called SPLINTERS. ( If you ever get the opportunity to see this movie, I highly recommend it).
SPLINTERS outlined to me the importance surfing can, and is having on the cultures of some of the most remote villages throughout PNG. Andy and SAPNG have managed to form 10 boardrider clubs throughout PNG, with another 2 about to come online. These clubs help to provide stability within the village, and give structure to the community. It allows local surfers to be part of a group, to work together and to give each other respect. There are local boardrider competitions, boardrider club meetings and club responsibilities.
When I saw SPLINTERS, one thing that really stood out to me was the fact that the surfboards they do have, are shared between 5-10 locals, each taking a turn for a free surf, or to surf a heat in a boardrider competition. The other thing that really struck me was that the local females had a very hard time even securing a board to learn to surf. The male surfers are very dominant in their ownership of the surfboards, and would steal surfboards from the females, threaten the females and warn them that they should not be surfing.
Once I had seen SPLINTERS, I knew that the Surfboard Donation Project was absolutely the right thing to be doing. Andy, in conjunction with the SAPNG will distribute all the gear that is donated through the affiliated boardrider clubs, including surfboards (short and long), leg ropes, fins, surfing products, boardies, rashes, wax , booties…. basically anything surfing!!! We have decided to paint the boards that are given to the females with PINK spray paint, in the hope that this will deter the males from stealing and surfing a ‘girls board’.
So that’s the story, now for the donating!!
Should you wish to help here’s what to do;
- Drop into Triggers and make a donation (and remember…it’s anything ‘surfing’)
- Contact myself if you have any queries or ideas,
Mob:0418 388 415
Thanks for reading, and Thank You from Andrew Abel (President SAPNG), and the local surfers of PNG.