Watersport promoter retires after 40 years

Paul Botha

Veteran watersports promoter and Kommetjie resident Paul Botha, 70, has retired from surfing administration and promotions after 40 years.

He started surfing in 1959 and has ridden waves in more than 30 countries. During his career, he owned, managed and promoted more than 500 professional and amateur events in South Africa and internationally.

He has given up his position as media manager for the World Surf League (WSL) Africa regional office, which he opened in 1988, and terminated his media liaison and journalism services for other surf industry organisations and events.

Mr Botha said he was fortunate to have done what he loved for the past four decades while pioneering surfing from its roots in the mid-1970s to what has become a globally accepted sport, one that will take its place in Olympic pantheon in Tokyo next year.

“Surfing has enabled me to travel extensively, ride some of the planet’s best waves, foster life-long friendships worldwide and stay abreast of global best practice in the fields of sports administration, event management and media coverage,” he said.

For Mr Botha, it has been a satisfying journey overseeing the dissemination of watersports news starting with hand-written media releases sent by post a week before the events in the 1970s, through same-day coverage by fax in the late 1980s and then the internet in the early 1990s, to the real time, live global webcasts and television coverage.