Sponsorship delivers healthy future for junior surfing event

Caption: Surfest ambassador and four-time world champion surfer Mark Richards with nib Managing Director Mark Fitzgibbon and some of the local junior surfers who will take part in the 2016 nib Pro Junior. Image courtesy of


Surfest 2016 will now feature a World Surfing League junior event after the Hunter-based, nib health funds, signed on as its naming rights sponsor. 

The internationally recognised event, which has run for the last 23 years, was on the verge of being dropped from the 2016 calendar due to a lack of funding before nib confirmed its commitment to the event.
The 2016 nib Pro Junior will not only attract competitors from around the world, but also provide a great opportunity for the Hunter’s best young surfing talent to compete in an international event and experience competition at the highest level.
Surfest ambassador and four-time world surfing champion, Mark Richards, said the nib Pro Junior provides a significant step for young surfers looking to make it on the big stage.
“The world of pro-surfing is highly competitive, meaning it is crucial for aspiring pros to take part and do well in these types of events. It allows them to establish their credentials and gain both experience and exposure,” he said.
“We were close to not having a pro junior event as part of Surfest 2016, which would have been a massive disappointment. Thanks to the support from nib we can now make it happen.”
nib Managing Director, Mark Fitzgibbon, said the health fund was delighted to provide its support for the pro junior event.
“We have such a rich surfing history here in Newcastle that has produced some of the sport’s great competitors. For many, including most recently, Merewether’s Ryan Callinan, these pro junior events have helped launch international surfing careers,” he said.
“It’s great that nib can offer young surfers the opportunity to compete in a first-class, internationally-rated event on their home break here at Merewether.
“nib’s connection to the Hunter spans more than 60 years and we remain committed to investing in the health and well-being of our community. What better way to do this then by hosting an event that showcases our beautiful beaches and celebrates a sport that remains such a big part of Newcastle’s culture.”
The nib Pro Junior will take place from February 20 – 21, 2016, with a total of $7000 in prize money up for grabs. This event alone is expected to attract around 100 male and female competitors, 18-years and under, from eight different countries.

For more information on Surfest Newcastle 2016 and the schedule of events visit