La Jolla, California, March 4th, 2014 – The International Surfing Association (ISA) is proud to welcome The Gambia as the 80th, and Nigeria as the ISA’s 81st Member Nations.
The Gambia joins the ISA as its 80th Member Nation
The Gambia (officially the Republic of the Gambia) is a country in West Africa. It is surrounded by Senegal, apart from a short strip of Atlantic coastline at its western end. Nigeria (officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria) is located in West Africa, and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Nigeria has had a growing Surfing population and an accompanying small amount of surf tourism for several decades. In fact, Nigeria was a destination featured in Bruce Browne’s seminal 1964 film, The Endless Summer.
Nigeria joins the ISA as its 81st and newest Member Nation
“We are pleased to welcome The Gambia and Nigeria to the ISA as we get closer to reaching our 100 member mark,” said ISA President Fernando Aguerre. “Both are important countries moving towards a healthy growth of surfing in Africa, a continent rich in sporting history and wonderful waves, and where the opportunities for Surfing are ripe and plentiful.”
“The development of the sport of Surfing in Africa and other developing nations has a very high level of value because surfing and tourism also go hand in hand,” added ISA Africa Advisor Sean Brody. “If surf tourism is developed in a sustainable fashion, it can lead to improvements in health care, education, job opportunities and infrastructure. Additionally, the sport of Surfing acts as a catalyst for peacekeeping, since the youth have a positive activity to focus on.”
The Gambia Swimming and Water Sports Association is the new ISA member in The Gambia. “The Gambia is incredibly excited to become a member of the ISA,” said Alieu Jallow, President of the new ISA member. “We know that our citizens will enjoy Surfing and SUP, and hopefully be able to compete on a word stage within a few years.”
Nigeria gets a variety of swells. One of the largest populated countries in the world, there are limitless opportunities for developing Surfing and SUP. “Becoming a member of ISA will give surfers of Nigeria a great opportunity in Africa,” said Adebukola Esther Etti, President of the Nigeria Surfing Federation. “It will allow us to continue to develop our sport and its connections with tourism. This will greatly help our citizens and allows Africans to unite through surfing. As we work hard towards introducing the sport to new surfers from kids to adults, being a part of the ISA will allow our surfers to get better training and be able to compete with the top surfers in the world.”
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 104 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).