Woolacombe surfer Lucy Campbell’s Olympic prospects have been given a shot in the arm.
Surfing will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo in 2020, and earlier this month it was announced the sport would receive £192,500 of investment from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) Aspiration Fund.
UK Sport hopes the fund will help athletes and sports get on track for the Tokyo Games, as well as inspire new audiences to take up the sports being supported.
Campbell was part of the British Surfing Team at the ISA World Surfing Games in Japan in September, with the team crowdfunding for £12,850 to be able to make it out to the games.
The 23-year-old said the money would allow athletes to focus on achieving qualification, and a place at the Olympics in 2020 would be a dream come true.
“I think it is probably every sports person’s dream to compete at the Olympics so to go there and surf in what could be the only time surfing will be in the Olympics, would just be incredible,” said Campbell.
“The fund has been given to surfing to help us to get our British team to the World Games and Olympic qualification events, as well as some training camps before the season starts.
“Previously, representing GB at the World Games has been self-funded by the athletes – with thanks to a crowd funder page as well.
“Having this money will allow the team to train alongside coaches and focus 100 per cent on trying to qualify.
“It’s also to help us try to get more people involved in the sport. We hope to get more people surfing, especially with its links to mental and physical well being.”
There are 20 women’s places up for grabs for the Tokyo Olympics, with qualification available via the World Surfing Games, World Surf League Championship Tour and the Pan American Games in 2019.
Campbell, who retained her English title in May, also claimed the British Women’s title in 2018, but picked up an injury at the start of her World Qualifying Series season.
She added: “I am really excited for next year, to try and push my world ranking and keep my national titles.”