South Africa’s 16-Year-Old Nthando Msibi Will Represent His Nation At The 2014 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship
Thanks to the ongoing ISA Scholarship Program, South Africa’s Nthando Msibi, a 2013 ISA Scholarship recipient, is getting ready to compete in his first international surfing competition at the VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship, starting April 5th at La FAE in Salinas, Ecuador.
With his dream to represent South Africa on the National Junior Surf Team, 2013 ISA Scholarship recipient Nthando Msibi practices at his home break in preparation for the 2014 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship next week in Ecuador.
Using his $1,000 scholarship award, the talented 16-year-old from Durban was able to purchase a surfboard and travel to national competitions so he could qualify for the South Africa Junior Team. Nthando recently told the ISA representing Team South Africa at the biggest junior surfing competition in the world is a lifelong dream.
“My mother and father died when I was younger, and I grew up on the streets in Durban and learned to surf from the people of ‘Umthombo Street Children’ (a program that helps the youth living in the streets of Durban) when I was 11,” Nthando told the ISA when he applied for the scholarship last year. “Because I did not go to a real school until I was 12, my surfing friends and teachers have helped me with school work. I am a good surfer and many people have told me I can be a champion, but I don’t have money to travel to contests. With support from the ISA, I could buy a new board and travel to contests, so one day I can compete on the South African Team.”
With his dream about to come true, Nthando will compete for South Africa’s National Junior Surf Team in the Under-18 division next week in Ecuador.
“It is a special honor for the ISA to be able to help young surfers like Nthando, to fulfill their dreams,” said ISA President Fernando Aguerre, who first created the ISA Scholarship Program in 2007. “This is one of the most important programs of the ISA, one that is specially close to my heart. Many ISA Scholarship recipients have become champions in their sport, but all of them are inspirational, positive role models not just for surfers, but for every human being. Nthando is incredibly deserving of this award and I am excited that I will be able to meet him and watch him surfing next week in Ecuador.”
Since its inception in 2007, the ISA has delivered 192 Individual Scholarships valued at $178,500 to well deserving junior surfers from around the world. Many have gone to students from families where competing in surfing and going to school would be impossible without assistance.
The Under-18 ISA Scholarship recipients are chosen because they are inspirational individuals, who strive to succeed in both surfing and education. After being awarded the scholarships, recipients are called “ISA Ambassadors.” They personify what the ISA promotes – working hard in school, enjoying surfing, being positive role models in their communities and persevering to achieve their dreams”.
Joining Nthando as part of Team South Africa are:
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).