By ISA Course Presenter Tim Jones
At the end of May in the city of Galle, Sri Lanka the International Surfing Association (ISA) furthered its collaboration with the Life Saving Association of Sri Lanka (LSASL) by donating four new CPR dummies to the Sea Lion Aquatic Club.
Receiving the dummies for the club was LSASL Trainer Mr. Sumith Somikelum and presenting them was Tim Jones, ISA Course Presenter for Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka has an amazing coastline and beautiful waves and the LSASL is helping spearhead the launch of the new formed Sri Lanka Surfing Federation with tremendous help from the LSASL Vice President Mr Hiran Ukwatte and the Sri Lankan National Olympic Committee.
Drowning has been a real issue for Sri Lanka over the years with one of the highest death tolls due to drowning to be found worldwide. On average 850 people die of drowning each year in Sri Lanka. President Asanka Nanayakkara of LSASL has been tackling this problem head on with ‘learn to swim’ programs and developing Life Saving Clubs throughout the island.
But now, with the ISA and LSASL backing the new Sri Lanka Surfing Federation there are more qualified ISA coaches who have an ISA/ILS Water Safety qualification and can add more safety to the surf line.
Just after the presentation was made, rains began and a monsoon hit, causing Sri Lanka to suffer again from terrible flooding. After the disaster of the Tsunami it’s hard to imagine the almost yearly loss of life occurring due to flooding. This year over 200 people lost their lives but straight away the LSASL was there with emergency relief and top surfers and qualified ISA coaches like Rajith Kumara joined in the relief efforts.
With the positive relationship of the ISA, the LSASL and the Sri Lankan National Olympic Committee, there is a bright future ahead for Sri Lankan surfing that contains individuals who will work together as a team to face any challenge.