The International Surfing Association (ISA) hosted festivities today to celebrate this year’s International Surfing Day presented by Surfrider – the annual occasion that showcases the sport’s unique culture, youthful appeal, worldwide popularity and its environmental and sustainability principles.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre and staff are joined by 2014 World Surfing Games Gold Medalist Leandro Usuna, Summer and Winter Olympic Gold Medalist Alana Nichols, the Challenged Athletes Foundation and San Diego community members on International Surfing Day for a beach cleanup and expression session.
The celebration of International Surfing Day is also a way for the ISA to honour the annual occasion of Olympic Day on Tuesday, 23 June, which occurs in the following week and enables the International Federation to express Surfing’s dedication to the Olympic spirit and highlight the sport’s shared values of excellence, friendship and respect.
Each year, International Surfing Day celebrations take place across the globe and feature Surf contests, barbecues, film screenings and other surf-related activities. In addition to celebrating the sport and lifestyle of Surfing, participants also help to preserve the environment by organising beach cleanups, habitat restoration and other acts promoting coastal protection. International Surfing Day has so far helped to clean more than 70 tons of rubbish on beaches and more than one million people have taken part in activities over the last decade.
As part of this year’s International Surfing Day celebrations, and to honour 2015 Olympic Day appropriately, the ISA is today organising a beach cleanup at Tourmaline Surfing Park in San Diego, California. The ISA is also encouraging the cleanup participants to utilise the waves and take part in an expression session to demonstrate their love for the waves and beaches we want to keep clean.
More than 200 events, activities and festivals are held annually across six continents to commemorate International Surfing Day. This year, events are planned in countries including France, Italy, UK, Senegal, Ghana, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, United States, Thailand, Philippines, Australia and even in land-locked Austria.
2014 ISA World Surfing Games Gold Medalist, Leandro Usuna (ARG) at the ISA beach cleanup as part of International Surfing Day presented by Surfrider.
Surfing fans celebrating International Surfing Day will showcase their experiences across multiple social media platforms by publishing Surfing stories, images and videos using the hashtag #ISD15.
Ahead of the ISA International Surfing Day presented by Surfrider festivities, Fernando Aguerre, President of the ISA, said:
“International Surfing Day is a great way for surfers to give back to the sport that has brought them so much joy. The ocean is a fragile environment and we as surfers must set the example to take care of it.
“The events taking place across this world highlights the incredible love for Surfing and how it is a genuine global sport. The vast majority of surfers who organise and take part in International Surfing Day events are young people who are passionate about the sport and want to see it develop and grow.
“With our young fans, the international calendar of major Surfing events and our star Surfing competitors, the sport uniquely connects with the public via powerful social media platforms – we are at the frontier of youth engagement at a time when this is vital for the Olympic Movement.
“As we also honour 2015 Olympic Day, we want highlight that the values of the Olympic Spirit – excellence, fair play and respect – are embedded in Surfing’s culture and it is these values and the sport’s unique ethos that make Surfing a true sport for all. These are the attributes that we will continue to promote as we aim for Olympic inclusion.”
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).