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Auction launched – fund raiser for top young Mount surfers

Immediate Release 10/4/2014

Auction launched – fund raiser for top young Mount surfers

A plea has been launched for support for top sibling surfers - in their bid to keep going on the world contest circuit.

The brother and sister, Jonas 15, and Elin (13 years old) Tawharu, from Mount Maunganui, who’ve been competing in the 2014 Vissla ISA World Junior Surfing Champs in Ecuador.

The pair made the 12-strong Kiwi team after winning the Under 16 girls’ and boys’ New Zealand national champs in

Jonas started surfing as an 11-year-old, and Elin took up the sport aged nine.

Jonas and Elin wold love to make it through their respective heats, but as first time contenders and being so young in their age groups, the pair realise they need the overseas experience at this level.

Without backing from any big surf industry sponsors, the Tawharu family been forced to try and think of novel ways to increase their profile and raise funds.

Recently they made a short clip that appears on The Telecom Foundation givealittle website where people can pledge their support.

Now, Mount Surf Shop, with two stores at Mount Maunganui, has pitched in with ‘the ultimate surf package,’ everything from surfboard to sunblock, to auction as a fund raiser.

“Pulling enough funds together to travel and compete on the world stage is a huge challenge, even when major surf companies sponsoring surfboards and other equipment are backing you,” says their father John Tawharu, “so we’re very grateful to the Mount Surf Shop and their suppliers for donating this package to put up for auction on Trademe.”

Even getting the children to Venezuela to compete put us under quite a bit of financial strain and we were forced to borrow to meet a shortfall and get the kids there, he admits.

“The tough reality is that our children have proven they have the ability, but to continue to compete overseas and realise their surfing goals will take a sustained and serious-fund raising effort.”

Mr Tawharu says they appreciate those who’ve already got behind Jonas and Elin, including Whangamata surfboard shaper Peter Anderson and Bruce Narbey of Freestyle Performance Watches.

“We are well aware of the many demands on people to donate for a variety of good causes, and times have been tough.”

But aside from bidding, we’d be grateful for any small amounts that people can spare via givealitte (, Mr Tawharu says.

Co-owner of the Mount Surf Shop Scott Waddell says their donation of the package partly reflects trying to “cut down some of the stress on their parents” struggling to support the children’s’ surfing goals.

He says the store was in a position where, with help from their suppliers, they could put together the full kit – and start the ball rolling, “so hopefully it turns into something bigger.

Mr Waddell says the reality is that without a loyal customer base, both their store and suppliers wouldn’t be in business, so “it’s a great thing” to be able to put something back into the sport and the local community.

“You’ve got to remember that these kids are off around the world representing their country, and they deserve as much help as other aspiring athletes.”

The Mount Surf Shop auction package includes brand new 6‘ Arcade Fish surfboard, Creatures of Leisure board bag, standard fins, FCS tail pad and Ocean and Earth leg rope – plus a Rip Curl wetsuit. Other items are a Rip Curl Driver Watch, O’Neill towel, rash vest and hat, and the kit even runs to 22 blocks of board wax and sun screen.


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