New Zealand surfing will be well represented in the lead up to the 2020 Olympic Games as two Kiwis were named on the International Surfing Association's inaugural athletes' commission.
Whangamata's Ella Williams was named on the commission panel, while three-time Olympics medallist, ISA vice president and New Zealand's International Olympic Committee member Barbara Kendall will serve as the commission's ISA representative.
The commission was established to amplify the voices of athletes in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympics at the highest level of governance in surfing.
"I think that's really exciting to have two Kiwis," Williams said.
"They had the whole world to choose from, and they picked two New Zealanders so I think that really says a lot about us as Kiwis in general, how good a surfers really are and we represent our country really, really well. I think it's kind of a compliment to all the surfers in NZ, not just myself."
The athletes didn't apply for the role, but were hand-picked by the ISA. Veteran French multi-discipline athlete Justine Dupont was named to chair the panel, while Dylan Lightfoot (South Africa), Alana Nichols (USA), Masatoshi Ohno (Japan), Casper Steinfath (Denmark) and Miguel Tudela (Peru) were named to join Williams on the panel.
The commission wouldn't just cover surfing, but stand-up paddleboarding and all other surf-related disciplines.
"It feels like a real honour," Williams said. "I'm really excited to be part of the team and really grow surfing, and to be there for the other athletes, to be a voice for them it plays a really big part."
Williams had been involved in ISA competitions since a young age and had found success in them over the years. In 2016 and 2017 she made the semifinal if the open women's field of the World Surfing Games, while in 2015 she claimed third place.
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