World Surf League commits to prize money equality
The World Surf League (WSL) has today taken a step forward in promoting equality for women in sport, by committing to paying equal prize money to male and female athletes for every WSL-controlled event in the 2019 season and beyond.
This announcement makes WSL the first and only US-based global sports league, and among the first internationally, to achieve prize money equality.
WSL CEO, Sophie Goldschmidt, is proud of their commitment to gender equality, and proud to join other organizations beyond the world of sport reaching this important milestone.
“This is a huge step forward in our long-planned strategy to elevate women’s surfing and we are thrilled to make this commitment as we reveal our new 2019 schedule,” she said.
“This is the latest in a series of actions the League has undertaken to showcase our female athletes, from competing on the same quality waves as the men, to better locations, and increased investment and support.”
“We want to be at the forefront of pushing for equality in all walks of life, starting on the waves, and we feel very lucky to have women on our tour who are highly talented, iconic role models, and more than deserve this recognition as they stand alongside our extraordinary male athletes.”
Stephanie Gilmore, six-time World Champion, added: “This is incredible, and I am thrilled.
“The prize money is fantastic, but the message means even more.”
“My fellow women athletes and I are honoured by the confidence in us, and inspired to reward this decision with ever higher levels of surfing.”
The WSL continues to be one of the fastest-growing sports leagues globally, continually expanding its reach and fan base.
WSL content and live coverage is now digitally available in every market and over 100 linear broadcasters now cover its events, including this week’s groundbreaking competition at the human-made wave at Surf Ranch.
Kelly Slater, the holder of 11 World Championships and 55 Championship tour event victories, said: “The women on the tour deserve this change.
“I’m so proud that surfing is choosing to lead sports in equality and fairness.
“The female WSL athletes are equally committed to their craft as the male athletes and should be paid the same.”
Surfing has always been a pioneering sport, and this serves as an example of that.”
Surfing has also been added to the roster for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, introducing the sport to new audiences.