Junior Irukandjis Team Presented By Woolworths Announced For 2022 ISA Juniors Campaign - Congratulations Gabi Spake, Kobi Clemments! + IOC Session Approval Of Surfing For The LA28 Olympic Games
Tuesday 1st February, 2022
from Surfing Australia
The Junior Irukandjis Surfing Team presented by Woolworths has been announced ahead of the 2022 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in El Salvador on May 27th – June 7th and includes local surfers Gabi Spake and Kobi Clemments.
In a historic moment for Australian Surfing, the team name and identity was unveiled March 17th 2021 at the Novotel in Manly for Australia’s national surf team. The much-anticipated new namesake and tagline was revealed to be ‘The Irukandjis: Deadly in the Water’, after the Irukandji jellyfish – an extremely venomous species of jellyfish that inhabit Australian marine waters.
“They pack a serious punch, just like our Australian surfers in the water”, said Surfing Australia CEO, Chris Mater, of the name that will led Australia’s inaugural Olympic surf team’s debut into the Tokyo games.
For the first time, Australian representatives across all surfing genres, including Junior, Open, Masters, Olympic, Longboard, Big Wave, Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) and Adaptive disciplines, would compete under The Irukandjis national identity and united colours at international events such as the Olympics, International Surfing Association (ISA), World Surfing Games, WSL World Juniors and Longboard Championships.
The Irukandjis name was generously gifted to Surfing Australia by the local Yirrganydji people of North Queensland, driven by the efforts of Indigenous athlete and former World Tour surfer, Soli Bailey.
Senior Ranger, Yirrganydji Land and Sea Program, Brian Singleton said: “The Irukandji jellyfish was named after the Yirrganydji people who were believed to be extinct but we aren’t! The Yirrganydji supports ‘The Irukandjis’ Australian Surf Team as they take on the world.”
The number one ranked athletes from Under 16 and 18 Girls and Boys divisions automatically qualify for the Junior Irukandjis Surfing Team.
Surfing Australia Talent Pathway Coach and 2005 Women's World Champion Chelsea Hedges said: “ISA Junior event brings a high calibre of competition; it is a big achievement to be selected for this team and an amazing opportunity for Australia’s best junior athletes to get a taste of what their future could be at an Olympic Games.”
Woolworths comes on board as the presenting rights partner to the team which aligns perfectly with their focus on Grassroots junior surfing.
Woolworths Head of Community and Sponsorships, Sarah De La Mare said “Woolworths are committed to junior sport and we’re incredibly proud to be the foundation sponsor of the Junior Irukandji’s Surfing Team. We’re so excited to watch these young athletes represent our great surfing nation on the world stage and wear the junior Irukandji’s green and gold for the first time.”
On February 3rd 2022, at the 139th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session held in Beijing, China, Surfing was approved to be included on the Initial Sports Program for LA28. Following a vote of the IOC Membership, Surfing is now integrated into the group of 28 Olympic sports. Details below.
2022 JUNIOR IRUKANDJIS SURFING TEAM PRESENTED BY WOOLWORTHS