La Jolla, California, July 25, 2013- The International Surfing Association (ISA) is proud to welcome Wales as the 74th member nation of the ISA.
Wales, which is part of Great Britain, has a booming surfing population. Located on the western side of British Isles and the eastern side of the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea, the country boasts over 750 miles of coastline with a variety of surf breaks all around, including a tidal river bore and a soon to be built Wave Garden, a facility with high quality man-made surfing waves.
The nation also produces a vast array of sporting and athletic talent. Although part of Great Britain and its smallest nation, Wales has had strong representative sides in sports like football (soccer) and rugby for decades, participating in FIFA and IRB (International Rugby Board) World Cups. At the Olympic Games, Welsh athletes participate as members of Team GB (Great Britain).
“I’m very happy to welcome Wales to the ISA,” said ISA President Fernando Aguerre. “Despite being the UK’s smallest nation, the Welsh are big on surf and their passion for the sport will continue to increase the status of the ISA as well as boost surfing’s status for all of Europe. Welcome to all Welsh surfers and surfing fans to the ISA.”
“We are a passionate and committed sporting nation possessing our own rich culture and Celtic heritage,” said Welsh Surfing Federation President Huw John.
“We have been a core member of the European Surfing Federation (ESF) for 40 years, and our surfers have always been successful on a European and World stage and our members are extremely passionate about their achievements being fully recognized at World level as Welsh. Our goals and aims for our surfers from the beginning, was to promote and develop Welsh surfers at every level of the sport and to compete at National, European and World levels. Through becoming a member of the ISA we will be able to provide greater opportunities for our surfers to achieve this goal without restriction. We recognize and admire the ISA as the World leaders for surfing and are excited to share that goal of recognition of the sport by the IOC and for a better surfing future.”
Wales has been a surfing nation since the late 1950s and has been fully organized since 1973 when the Welsh Surfing Federation formed. The location of the country provides Welsh surfers with the benefit of prevailing Atlantic swells from the southwest that lends itself to all types of surf crafts from shortboards, longboards, SUPs and bodyboards, on all types of break from long sandy beaches, to off-shore sand banks, reefs and points.
Wales also has the benefit of unusual surfing experiences such as a tidal river bore, The Severn Bore, possibly the first river bores to be surfed in the world in 1955.
Additionally, the Wales Surfing Federation is supporting and promoting the development of the first Wave Garden in Wales, which will be situated in the North of the country. This will enable some of most densely populated areas of the UK to obtain access to surf all year round for all ages and abilities.
About the International Surfing Association
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. It was originally founded as the International Surfing Federation in 1964 and has been running the Open Division World Championship since 1964, the World Junior Surfing Championship since 1980, the World Masters Surfing Championship since 2007, the World Bodyboard Championship since 2011, the Hainan Wanning Riyue Bay International Surfing Festival in China, and the World Standup Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championship beginning in 2012. The ISA also sanctions the World Kneeboard Titles and the World Tandem Surfing Championship, and will launch the World Longboard Championship in 2013.
ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 74 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 and re-elected seven times since. The ISA’s four Vice-Presidents are Alan Atkins (AUS), Karín Sierralta (PER), Debbie Beacham (USA) and Layne Beachley (AUS).
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