Institute of Technology Sligo Lecturer Kerry Larkin, has reached the World Surfing Games final, held in Japan next week. The competition is part of the selection procedure for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, which will be the first time surfing is recognised as an Olympic sport.
Kerry, a member of County Sligo Surf Club has been lecturing in Bachelor of Sport with Business at IT Sligo for the past 12 years and managing the campus surf club. He is however best known for his surfing achievements, competing in two European Championships and winning both senior and masters national championships. Just recently Kerry achieved both a first and a second place in the Sligo Open surfing championships in the Masters Division and Open Divison respectively.
He began surfing aged 14 and was instantly hooked to the sport, quickly becoming an instructor at the Jamie Knox surf school in Brandon Bay, Co Kerry. In 1996 after finishing school in Tralee, the then student chose to study in Sligo, mainly because of its surfing reputation and the appeal of being able to both get a degree and surf regullarly. Dedicated to his sport, after lectures he would cycle everyday from Sligo to Strandhill with his surfboard under his arm.
Kerry is hugely passionate about surfing and would highly recommend anybody to take up the sport as a recreational hobby above all else:
“Sligo has the best coast in Europe for surfing. If you live in Sligo and don’t surf, it’s like living in the Alps and not skiing! Surfers come here from all over the world. The South-westerly off shore winds and granite reef make high quality and consistent waves. Combine this with relatively warm waters and long days, surfers can’t get enough.”
However, he is little bemused at the lack of interest by Irish Students!
“We have two German students coming to IT Sligo this year because of the added bonus of the surf we have here. I bring 30 students a month out surfing and mostly its all overseas students bar one or two Irish.”
Kerry joins fellow Sligo Surfing Club member Gearoid McDaid in the three men and three women team who will represent Ireland in Japan. Each surfer will be given 20 minutes in the water and are marked on: power, speed and flow. They will also be judged on their wave selection and technical ability on the board.
Kerry is delighted to be representing Ireland in Japan and hopes the Irish teams achievements will help promote Sligo as a destination for surfing for everyone, including locals:
“The geology of Sligo’s coast makes it perfect for surfing. I’ve surfed all over the world and people don’t realise this place is right up there as the best surfing destination on the planet. I would really encourage any student coming to IT Sligo this year to take up surfing”
The International Surfing Association World Surfing Championship takes place in Tahara, Japan from the 15th to the 22nd of September. Best of luck from all at IT Sligo!