Surfer girl has heart set on ruling waves

ATTEMPTING to prove her worth in a male-dominated sport and falling out of favour with sponsors is not stopping one Nelson Mandela Bay-born woman from achieving her dreams. With the financial odds stacked against her, 22-year-old surfer Faye Zoetmulder is fighting for her chance to compete in surfing’s premier events, the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series, which takes place around the world next year.

This is despite losing her sponsorship to compete in the series.

“I had the privilege of riding for two big South African companies, namely Hurley and Mr Price. For the past two years I was supported wonderfully by Mr Price, which made my 2013 World Qualifying Series [WQS] campaign possible. It was a shock to hear that from 2014 and further Mr Price would no longer be supporting surfing as a sport as their target market and interests lie elsewhere.

“This obviously leaves me without a sponsor and trying to compete on an international level to qualify for the world tour. The year is impossible to do without the financial support [as] one year on the tour costs approximately R240 000,” Zoetmulder said.

The tour sees the competing women from around the world travelling through Australia, Europe and America to earn points to qualify for the World Championship Professional tour of the ASP.

Because of her belief in her own ability, Zoetmulder is determined to make it to the events by holding fundraisers.

“I have a plan to raise my own funds for 2014. The first event is a trivia night and auction on December 7 in Cape St Francis where I am currently based and training. I have already sold seven tables and have nine more to go with a positive and realistic goal of 160 people at the event. We have a band playing – The Fledglings – and a great MC from the Eastern Cape, Jo Brown, that will run the whole event.

“Many companies and friends have been a great support in sponsoring prizes for the event and the whole feedback has been overwhelming.

“I can’t wait for the night and to just have fun with everyone that’s got my back. It’s the most rewarding feeling, putting in so much effort to training, surfing and the events planning and then seeing this incredible response of people wanting to help wherever they can.”

After spending time recovering from an injury last year and exploring other avenues, Zoetmulder said her determination to get back on the board grew even more.

“I spent 2013 trying to get my feet back on track after an injury year in 2012 when I broke my leg. I was interning in a full-time marketing management job for five months while trying to compete overseas and put in the training hours. It was hard to focus solely on surfing and really put in the hard yards.

“I had to consider working a full-time job in 2014 or taking my surfing seriously with nothing holding me back or getting in the way.

“I realised after the five [surfing] events in 2013 that I couldn’t possibly give up my surfing dream just yet.

“I really loved working in the marketing side of the surf and fashion industry but I couldn’t let my surfing talent and ability go to waste.

“So I released a clip just over a week ago explaining my dream of surfing. It shows my lifestyle, my surfing and I share my plan for next year. The clip is called Funds 4 Faye on YouTube and in just one week we reached 1 800 views. The response has been phenomenal and hopefully I can keep expanding the views all over South Africa and educate people about our beautiful sport.”

The trivia evening will start from 6.30pm at the Cape St Francis Resort. Tickets cost R120 per person with company sponsored tables costing R2 000.

  • For further information contact: Faye, 071 886 0150 or e-mail fayezoetmulder@ymail.com

 

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