Taranaki have been denied a chance of claiming their fifth straight New Zealand Surf League title.
Surf Lifesaving New Zealand has axed the event from next year's calendar as the national body tightens its belt.
"It's disappointing, but I can see where they are coming from," said Andrew Cronin, who has spearheaded the Taranaki effort in the IRBs for the past two events.
"Unfortunately, it's a sign of the times. We have to live within our means. I'd rather it was this event they cut than the nationals, that's the big one," said Cronin, who is employed by Surf Lifesaving New Zealand as a club development officer.
"But as an athlete, there was something about competing for your province. It's the only provincial event there is, but it is what it is and we have to accept it."
Surf Life Saving New Zealand announced yesterday it was cutting the Surf League for financial reasons.
"As part of a range of cost-cutting measures, the board and the senior management team have made the hard decision to not hold the Surf League competition in the 2012-13 season," chief executive Paul Dalton said.
"This decision has not been made lightly. Ultimately the decision came down to the national sports programme having to contribute to the cost savings and choosing to not hold a high-cost event that would impact the least number of athletes if not held in the 2012-13 season."
Dalton said the Surf League involved approximately 300 members competing and cost more than $225,000 to run - equivalent to more than $750 per person.
By contrast, the nationals cost $125,000 and involve more than 1500 surf athletes at approximately $83 per person. Likewise, the Oceans 13 event costs $85,000 and involves more than 600 under-14 athletes at approximately $142 per person.
"As such, we've prioritised other events in the national calendar ahead of Surf League and through these cost savings we can retain the rest of the national sports calendar 'as is'," he said.
"The long-term sustainability of the national sports event programmes requires a financially strong SLSNZ that is able to subsidise the costs to members and keep participation high and while there is short-term pain, it will ultimately be for long-term gain.
"I fully understand that there will be disappointment regarding this decision."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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