Maui Arts & Entertainment

Surfer Carissa Moore Honored with Athletes in Excellence Award at Waterman Premiere

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Surfer Carissa Moore was presented with the Athletes in Excellence Award by David Ulich (left) and Dr. Steven Ungerleider of the Foundation for Global Sports Development. Photo Courtesy: GSD

The Foundation for Global Sports Development presented five-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist surfer Carissa Moore of Hawaiʻi with its Athletes in Excellence Award and a $10,000 donation to her non-profit, Moore Aloha Charitable Foundation.

The award was presented Friday night following the world premiere of Waterman, a film about legendary Hawaiian surfer Duke Kahanamoku, at the 2021 Hawaiʻi International Film Festival held at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu.

“The Athletes in Excellence Award shines a spotlight on athletes who go beyond sport to create meaningful change in their communities, and Carissa Moore – much like Duke Kahanamoku – has remarkable accomplishments in the water as a surfer and in her community with Moore Aloha,” said Dr. Steven Ungerleider, producer of Waterman and founding board member of The Foundation for Global Sports Development & Sidewinder Films, which produced the movie. “I cannot think of a more perfect opportunity to recognize her work.”

Producers talk story after the world premiere of the film Waterman, about the legendary Hawaiian surfer Duke Kahanamoku, at the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival in Honolulu. Photo Courtesy: Global Sports Development Foundation

While accepting the award, Moore said: “Duke’s life is an inspiration to us all and his creed of aloha embodies our Moore Aloha mission. It was a privilege and honor to be included in the Waterman film and just like Duke, I look forward to being able to use surfing as a platform to empower and encourage women all over the world with my non-profit.”

With the donation, the Moore Aloha Foundation will provide more girls the opportunity to attend Carissa’s beach events, while encouraging them to be authentic young women who are not afraid to step outside their comfort zones and give a portion of their hearts to nature. 

“It is especially monumental to recognize Carissa Moore with our Athletes in Excellence Award, while the surfing and Hawaiian communities come together for Waterman and to celebrate the legend that is Duke Kahanamoku,” said David Ulich, producer of Waterman and founding board member of The Foundation for Global Sports Development & Sidewinder Films. “Through her non-profit ‘Moore Aloha’ and incredible surfing achievements, she represents everything Duke dreamed of. It’s quite touching, really.”


The Foundation for Global Sports Development was established in 1996 to enrich the lives of youth through the power of sport. In 2015, the foundation launched its media production company, Sidewinder Films, to inspire audiences through films that shed light on the remarkable, untold stories that celebrate the sport of life. 

For more information, and to receive updates on the film’s theatrical release in April 2022, visit


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