On behalf of the ISA and the millions of surfers around the world, our deepest condolences go out to ISA President Fernando Aguerre and his family after losing the person responsible for paving the path, providing the source of inspiration and life long collaborator, his mother, Norma Mattalia, who passed away on Tuesday, February 3, 2015.
We join Fernando in celebrating the life of an extraordinary person that not only gave so much to Fernando and his family, but to surfers, the environment, the Surf Industry and the global surfing family.
Below is a message from the ISA President:
Dear friends of Surfing from around the world,
On Tuesday morning, here in La Jolla, my mother Norma Mattalia passed away. Norma was a fundamental force in shaping the history of Surfing in Argentina, my passion for Surfing and for its promotion worldwide.
Though she was never a surfer, she was always a collaborator, my source of inspiration, played an active role in the development of Surfing in Argentina, and was my lifelong mentor. She was a key figure in the legalization of Surfing in Argentina in 1979, by helping me with my duties as the first President of the Argentinian Surfing Association, fighting against the ban on Surfing put by the military dictatorship in 1977.
She was also a partner in the founding of the legendary Ala Moana Surf Shop in Argentina in 1979 and the surf brand, Reef, in 1984.
Above all, she was a lover of the ocean and the beach, a friend and mentor of my brother and I, and all of our friends. Her love of life and for a better world, has been and will continue to be a key point of reference in my life.
Without any doubt, I can say that without her there would have been no surfing in my life, no moving to the USA, no Reef, no Waterman of the Year Award, and certainly no presidency of the ISA.
Un abrazo muy fuerte,
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).