Not everyone likes surfing, but this year’s Ballito PRO, taking place at Willard’s Beach from 29 June to 10 July, is significant to all KwaZulu-Natal residents demonstrating that the province is well on its way to recovery following two testing years.
In its 53rd year and presented by O’Neill, the world’s longest-running surfing event as a World Surf League Challenger Series, celebrates the return of international surfers to South African shores and a return of normality following the recent pandemic which severely impacted the tourism and events industries.
Surfers from 17 countries will compete with four coming from Morocco, Senegal, Mozambique, and South Africa. The event highlights a diversified competitor demographic acting as a steppingstone for underprivileged youngsters as well.
The event includes an exciting festival-like programme featuring music, arts, recreational beach activities, and extreme sports, highlighting the best the province has to offer and providing a much-needed boost to the local economy.
Key to the Ballito PRO’s success will be the Ballito UIP, which is mandated to keep Ballito safe, clean, green, and well-maintained. Precinct manager Thierry Leclezio states, “It’s great to see the Ballito PRO grace our shores once again and our team has worked hard cleaning up after the recent flood damage to ensure the precinct looks great. The PRO is a key economic driver for the province, and we thank the organizers and the sponsors for keeping it going.” The Ballito UIP will actively ensure Ballito is in tip-top condition for the event’s duration.
Commenting on the upcoming event, the mayor of KwaDukuza Municipality, Cllr O L Nhaca, said: “We emerge from one of the most testing global challenges of our times where we have been plagued by a pandemic, social unrest, flooding, and subsequent devastation. KwaDukuza Municipality is renewing its economic and tourism strategies toward economic recovery, particularly in tourism. We are looking forward to, once again, welcoming all the international athletes and their families and teams to our shores.”
A sure sign that KZN is on the road to recovery is the return of other events such as the East Coast Radio House and Garden Show at the Durban Exhibition Centre from 24 June to 3 July 2022 and the Comrades Marathon taking place in August this year.
Whether you’re into surfing, live music, home décor, or running, it’s going to be a fun few months so we encourage everyone to get out there to enjoy the best KZN has to offer and assist as the province continues the road to recovery.