The International Surfing Association (ISA) has welcomed Lithuania and US Virgin Islands as its newest Member Federations, further driving the development of Surfing around the world.
Providing access to Surfing for those in non-traditional Surfing territories has become a priority for the ISA as part of its strategy for global development. A sport imbued with youthful values and energy, Surfing has a unique ability to connect with young people. Providing more Surfing opportunities and better access to equipment and facilities for young people can help to instill core values of excellence, respect, fair-play and innovation in their communities.
The addition of the new European and Caribbean Federations show that Surfing is truly global and that new markets are embracing the sport. Including Lithuania and the US Virgin Islands, the ISA has inducted 15 new Member Federations from around the world in the last year underlining the sports worldwide growth. Other nations to join the ISA since January 2014 include Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Cayman Islands, The Gambia, Latvia, Lebanon, Poland, Madagascar, Nauru, Nepal, Nigeria and Sri Lanka.
Global development is a key element of the ISA’s strategy and the consistent growth and reach amongst young people is a driving force behind the ISA’s ambitions of making Surfing an Olympic sport.
Speaking about the newest ISA Member Federations, ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said:
“The ISA is delighted to welcome Lithuania and US Virgin Islands as its newest Member Federations. Surfing is a unique and modern blend of sport performance, style and culture infused with dynamic energy – making it especially relevant for young people. The ISA’s mission is to develop Surfing globally and through the addition of these new ISA Member Nations we are able to spread Surfing’s core values, excitement and vision that the sport represents.”
Lithuania has 99km of sandy coastline and numerous lagoons, lakes, rivers and wetlands that are conducive to Surfing and Stand-Up Paddle [SUP]. The Lithuanian Extreme Sports Federation, the Federation responsible for Surfing in Lithuania, has been hosting national Windsurfing and Kite Surfing events for many years and is now looking towards Surfing and SUP as a way to engage and get young people active in the country.
The US Virgin Islands, situated in the Atlantic Ocean 64km east of Puerto Rico is famous for its white sandy beaches and clear waters. Surfing and SUP are rapidly growing in US Virgin Islands and the United States Virgin Islands Surfing Association is making great strides in uniting the various surf clubs on the islands which practice numerous disciplines including Surfing, SUP, Bodyboarding and other wave riding activities.
The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. The ISA governs and defines Surfing as Shortboard, Longboard & Bodyboarding, StandUp Paddle (SUP) Racing and Surfing, Bodysurfing, Wakesurfing, and all other wave riding activities on any type of waves, and on flat water using wave riding equipment. The ISA crowned its first Men’s and Women’s World Champions in 1964. It crowned the first Big Wave World Champion in 1965; World Junior Champion in 1980; World Kneeboard Champions in 1982; World Longboard Surfing and World Bodyboard Champions in 1988; World Tandem Surfing Champions in 2006; World Masters Champions in 2007; and World StandUp Paddle (SUP, both surfing and racing) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012.
ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 103 countries on five continents. Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (Argentina), first elected President in 1994 in Rio de Janeiro. The ISA’s four Vice-Presidents are Karín Sierralta (PER), Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL).