Nanjing, China, August 28, 2014 – Fernando Aguerre, President of the International Surfing Association [ISA], has been at the Youth Olympic Games [YOG] in Nanjing, China this week to witness the Olympic stars of tomorrow and spread Surfing’s youthful message that highlights why more than 35 million young people worldwide are attracted to the sport.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in China, alongside IOC Vice President Nawal El Moutawakel (far left) and the medalists of the Men’s 2000m Steeplechase race: Ethiopia’s Sidamo Wogene Sebisibe (Gold Medal), Kenya’s Kirui Amos (Silver Medal), and Morocco’s Chemlal Hichman (Bronze Medal).
Aguerre has been present in Nanjing to experience the sporting action and the unique atmosphere and culture of the Games while emphasising the ISA’s commitment and dedication to the Olympic Movement, the YOG concept and the youth of the world.
During his time in Nanjing, Fernando Aguerre also met with several members of the IOC Executive Board and other senior IOC officials to underline further Surfing’s strong desire to join the Olympic Sports Programme, and therefore assist the Olympic Movement to connect with young people and inspire in them the positive values of Olympism.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre with Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games organiser, IOC Member and President of the Argentina National Olympic Committee, Gerardo Werthein at the Sports Lab, where Skateboarding was one of the exhibition sports.
Speaking from Nanjing, Fernando Aguerre, said:
“It’s fantastic to be here at the YOG in Nanjing to promote Surfing – a sport with a unique blend of youth culture, lifestyle and sport performance infused with a dynamic energy that makes it especially relevant for young people all over the world. Surfing has no regard for wealth, status, race, gender or age, which is why the multi-cultural YOG is a perfect platform for global promotion.
“I would like to congratulate the IOC and Nanjing organizers for the outstanding organisation, and especially for the Sports Lab concept which featured new, youth-oriented sports and offered an opportunity for the local public to try and engage in these sports. I have continued to learn and receive valuable feedback from my meetings with Olympic leaders here which is incredibly helpful as we position Surfing going forward within the Olympic context.
“With its engaged base, Surfing connects with the young people like no other sport via powerful social media and marketing platforms – we are at the forefront of youth engagement at a time when this is vital for the Olympic Movement. The new wave technology that is about to revolutionise our sport is also set to open up Surfing to millions more people around the world. The values of Olympism are embedded in Surfing’s culture and with our youthful vibe and global reach, we would bring excitement, fun and value to the Olympic Games.”
The ISA currently has 86 member nations all over the world and in recent years there has been a drive for expansion in new markets such as Asia, Latin America and Africa. Surfing’s booming popularity in these markets shows the universality of the sport and its great appeal amongst young people.
In addition to its unique culture, the sport also carries financial value. It is estimated that Surfing is a 22 billion dollar business with websites, social media channels, magazines, newspapers, TV networks and radio stations – most of them 100% dedicated to the sport and focussed on the youth demographic.
The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing, 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) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012.
ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 100 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).