Aussie surfer in unequal prize money furore
Australian surfer Lucy Small has spoken about the moment she called out the organisers of a Sydney longboard event over the disparity between prize money for male and female competitors.
Small won the ‘Curly Maljam’ event at North Curl Curl, New South Wales, Australia in April before taking aim at organisers in her victory speech, according to Yahoo Sport.
In footage that went viral on social media, Small said: “Thank you to the sponsors for the money they’ve put into the event, but I would say it’s a bittersweet victory knowing that our surfing is worth half of the men’s prize money.
“It took the same amount to drive here, flights were the same cost to fly here, accommodation cost the same and our surfing is worth half as much. So maybe we can think about that for next time.”
Small received AUS$1500 for winning the event, while the male champion got AUS$4000.
The 28-year-old said she had no idea her speech would cause such a media frenzy, with calls coming thick and fast for interviews, according to Yahoo Sport.
It wasn’t her intention, she said, to humiliate the event organisers personally, but simply spark a discussion around gender equality in the sport and hopefully bring about some change.
And she did exactly that.
“The head of Surfing NSW contacted me and said they had spoken with Surfing Australia to write into the rule book that any events affiliated with any of the governing bodies must have equal prize money,” Small said.
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Header image from Instagram.