AmpSurf ISA Para Surf Clinic Spreads Surfing’s Joy

Posted - News Posted for ISA News, World Surfing News.

Opening Ceremony for Para Worlds set to kick off competition Wednesday 

The International Surfing Association (ISA) highlighted its commitment to the growth and development of Adaptive Surfing by holding the AmpSurf ISA Para Surf Clinic on Tuesday at La Jolla Shores.

Lisa Franks can’t hide her smile during her participation in the AmpSurf ISA Adaptive Surf Clinic. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Lisa Franks can’t hide her smile during her participation in the AmpSurf ISA Para Surf Clinic. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

The objective of the clinic was to provide an opportunity for athletes with physical challenges to experience the sport of surfing and the healing qualities of the ocean.

Despite exceptionally stormy weather, 13 athletes participated, receiving expert guidance from top athletes and instructors in the sport. 

“These participants are learning and experiencing what surf therapy is like,” said AmpSurf Founder and President Dana Cummings. “There is a great thrill in riding a wave for the first time. 

“Our goal is to let people know that they can do anything they set their mind to and focus on their abilities. That’s what we want to instill in everybody. Whether they surf again or not doesn’t matter, just as long as they use this experience to maintain an active lifestyle. That’s what we want to see them doing.”

Clinic instructors and participants gather to celebrate the power of Surfing at La Jolla Shores, rain or shine. Photo: ISA / Pablo Jimenez

Clinic instructors and participants gather to celebrate the power of Surfing at La Jolla Shores, rain or shine. Photo: ISA / Pablo Jimenez

“Surfing for me is just a sense of freedom,” said clinic participant Lisa Franks. “I get to leave my wheelchair on the beach and I’m out there in the ocean catching a wave just like anyone else. I don’t see the disability.”

The clinic was held as the opening festivity for the 2020 AmpSurf ISA World Para Surfing Championship, which officially kicks off on Wednesday with the Opening Ceremony at Kellogg Park at La Jolla Shores. 

The Opening Ceremony will feature the Parade of Nations down the boardwalk at La Jolla Shores, followed by the one-of-a-kind Sands of the World Ceremony, where each nation pours sand from their nation into a container to symbolize the peaceful gathering of nations through Para Surfing. 

A record-breaking 131 athletes from 22 countries are set to compete, representing their nations and going for Gold in the only and premiere World Championship for the discipline.

With the inaugural edition held in 2015, the ISA World Para Surfing Championship has accelerated the growth and development of the sport on all continents of the globe, with athlete participation nearly doubling since the event’s inception. 

Over the past two days 93 athletes were formally classified in the Para Surfing classification system. A team of professional international Para Surfing Classifiers performed on-site classification assessments on all of these athletes, a huge step forward for the development of Para Surfing classification and its spread across the globe.

A visually impaired participant gets into his groove during the clinic. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

A visually impaired participant gets into his groove during the clinic. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said: 

“The ISA is fully committed to empowering people with physical challenges to experience the healing effects of the ocean. Surfing has proven to be life-changing for so many of these athletes, we want to continuing spreading its joy. 

“The clinic helps set the foundation for the next generation of para surfers, a generation that we hope can have the honor to compete for a slot at the Paralympic Games.”

Schedule:

Wednesday March 11

  • Opening Ceremony, 9:30am-11:30am at Kellogg Park adjacent to La Jolla Shores
  • Competition, 1pm-4:30pm at La Jolla Shores

Thursday March 12 – Sunday March 15

  • Competition 7am-4:30pm at La Jolla Shores 

Sunday March 15

  • Closing Ceremony following the close of competition at La Jolla Shores

The 2020 AmpSurf ISA World Para Surfing Championship can be viewed live on www.isasurf.org March 11-15.

About the International Surfing Association:

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, Para 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; World StandUp Paddle (SUP, both surfing and racing) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012; and World Para Surfing Champions in 2015.

ISA membership includes the surfing National Federations of 108 countries on five continents. The ISA is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (ARG). The Executive Committee includes four Vice-Presidents Karín Sierralta (PER), Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL), Athletes’ Commission Chair Justine Dupont (FRA), Regular Members Atsushi Sakai (JPN) and Jean Luc Arassus (FRA) and ISA Executive Director Robert Fasulo as Ex-officio Member.

Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California (USA).
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