The International Surfing Association (ISA) announced today that Nauru, Sri Lanka and Cayman Islands have become its 87th, 88th and 89th Member Federations, taking the organization a step closer to reaching its goal of 100 member nations in 2015.
The ISA’s international growth and development is a key part of the ISA’s mission, as the International Federation for the sport. The universality, appeal, consistent growth and reach amongst young people world wide, are a key elements of the ISA’s ambitions of making Surfing an Olympic sport.
Nauru, Sri Lanka and Cayman Islands have joined the ISA as its 87th, 88th and 89th Member Federations. Pictured is a surfer in Sri Lanka, where the Arugam Bay Surfing Access For All is focused on using Surfing as a tool for community development and social inclusion. Photo: Arugam Safa Surf School
In recent years, there has been a drive for growth in regions such as Asia, the Pacific and the Caribbean, and the addition of the Nauru Surf Club, Arugam Bay Surfing Access For All (Sri Lanka), and Cayman Islands Surfing Association as Member Federations, is a sign that Surfing’s popularity is growing in these regions, spreading the sport’s youthful values of energy, dynamism and excitement.
Nauru, where the sport is quickly gaining in popularity, is a 21km² island in the south-west Pacific Ocean and home to the Nauru Surf Club – a not for profit organization designed to make Surfing available to the community regardless of social or financial status. The club provides surfboard use, training schools and transport to Surfing areas. It also organizes Surfing competitions and it is contracted by the government of Nauru to supply lifeguards to patrol swimming areas.
Nauru is a small island in the south-west Pacific Ocean that has a thriving surfing community. Pictured are members of the Nauru Surf Club that is designed to make Surfing available to the community regardless of social or financial status. Photo: Nauru Surf Club
Sri Lanka is one of the most popular surf destinations in the Indian Ocean and has attracted surfers to its world-class waves for many years. Arugam Bay Surfing Access For All, the Sri Lankan Surfing Federation, is focused on using Surfing as a tool for community development and social inclusion, and hopes membership to the ISA will act as a catalyst for credibility and recognition of the sport within its own country.
The Safa Surf School is located at Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka, and provides surf classes by ISA Certified Coaches for local surf enthusiasts, as well as traveling visitors. Photo: Arugam Safa Surf School
Cayman Islands, located in the North West Caribbean Sea, averages swells of 3-5 feet which can reach 8-12 feet on better days. The Cayman Islands Surfing Association is also determined to facilitate change through a development program, that embraces an inclusive approach that places emphasis on the protection and sustainability of its surfing environment.
Fernando Aguerre, ISA President, said:
“To see Surfing thrive all over the world is testament to its unique culture and energy, and shows the true universality of the sport. With the additional development of ground-breaking wave technology, Surfing is accessible to everyone regardless of location or background and its global, youthful reach is one of the sport’s biggest assets. As we continue to grow, we welcome new members as our ambition for inclusion in the Olympic Games gains momentum.”
“We surf for our innate love of the sport, the bond we build with fellow surfers, and the way it makes us feel connected to nature. Surfing is also a 22 billion dollar business with a natural focus on the youth demographic. By taking the sport to new destinations we can help stimulate local economies, create jobs and provide young people with a source of fun, engagement and lessons of excellence, fair play and respect.”
Sean Brody, ISA Membership Manager, said:
“The ISA is thrilled to welcome new Federations from Nauru, Sri Lanka and the Cayman Islands and our aim is help them fulfill their Surfing potential by providing the support mechanisms that will allow them to boost grassroots activity and enable more people to surf.”
“Surfing can act as a catalyst for social change. In addition to enabling as many people as possible to enjoy the thrill of the sport, we also hope that we can touch people all over the world with surfing’s core values.”
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). ƒ