The International Surfing Association (ISA) has welcomed the Islamic Republic of Iran Surfing Association as its 100th Member Federation, signifying a landmark moment in the global growth of Surfing.
The Iran Surfing Association formed in 2016 after the sport was first introduced in the country in 2010 when locals were inspired by Easkey Britton, a female Surfer from Ireland, who came to Iran to Surf and promote the sport. Britton soon returned to the country to spread the word of Surfing’s values and share the sport with others and since then the sport has continued to grow and develop.
Recognized by the Ministry of Sport and Youth in Iran and also a member of the Iran Federation of Sports Associations, the Iran Surfing Association will work with the ISA to create a development strategy for the sport across the country with a particular focus on the training of instructors.
The Iran Surfing Association has set out five key objectives to aid the growth of the sport in the country:
- Promote the expansion and popularization of Surfing across Iran
- Scout talented individuals who are capable of developing and promoting the sport in Iran
- Hold educational courses and workshops to train instructors and judges
- Create uniform rules and regulations for the sport in Iran based on ISA rules
- Organize local and national Surfing competitions
The ISA has been working hard to promote and grow the sport and its structures worldwide and the development of Surfing is an integral part of the organization’s long term strategy. As Surfing continues on its path towards Olympic inclusion, the sport’s consistent growth and reach amongst young people will continue to underpin the ISA’s strategy for global development.
Fernando Aguerre, ISA President, said:
“We are very excited to welcome the Iran Surfing Association to the ISA family. This decision is rich in symbolism for us, both in terms of the milestone of recognizing the ISA’s 100th Member, but also in showing Surfing’s ability to help bring unity through sport.
“When I began as President, the ISA had 32 Member Federations so to reach the 100 mark is very special. Some of the more recent members like Iran, Haiti, Sierra Leone and Bangladesh have very little Surfing infrastructure and we are delighted to offer greater Surfing opportunities to people in these regions, helping to share the thrill and enjoyment of the sport and its distinctive values.
“Surfing has a unique and modern blend of sport performance, lifestyle and culture that resonates with young people. Our commitment to developing Surfing globally gets stronger every day and as we continue on our path towards possible Olympic inclusion, we continue to take inspiration from the love and passion for Surfing worldwide.”
Alireza Rostami, I.R. Iran Surfing Association President, said:
“We are very proud that the Iran Surfing Association has been granted ISA membership and we are now looking forward to working hard to develop and grow Surfing across the country – I would like to thank the ISA for helping us to make this happen. Iran has 120km of ocean shoreline for Surfing, lots of lakes and rivers for paddleboarding and many young sports fans giving us great potential for the development of Surfing across the country.
“Surfing is not just a sport for the people of Iran, but a tool capable of uniting people of different cultures and backgrounds that highlights the values of hospitality, truthfulness and loyalty that define Iranian culture.
Easkey Britton, pioneer of Surfing in Iran, said:
“Witnessing the birth and rapid emergence of Surfing in Iran has shown me how the sport can be a unique lens to facilitate a deeper understanding of the world around us and each other. Ultimately, it can be developed to create a space and opportunity for connection across cultures and a positive relationship with the marine environment. A grass-roots surf community has now grown into a nationally recognized sport with the establishment of the Iran Surfing Association and ISA membership highlights the power of Surfing to connect communities across borders.
“None of this would have been possible without the openness, generosity and acceptance of those who took the first steps into the sea and surf, especially surfers Mona Seraji, Shahla Yasini and Shams Fuladi.”