The International Surfing Association (ISA) has welcomed Nepal and Bangladesh as its newest Member Federations, further driving the expansion of Surfing in Asia.
Nepal and Bangladesh have joined the ISA as its 90th and 91st Member Federations. Pictured is Jafar Alam, the President of the Bangladesh Surf Club, which is responsible for the growth and development of Surfing in the country. Photo: Surfing Bangladesh
A sport imbued with youthful values and energy, Surfing has a unique ability to connect with young people around the world. The growth of the sport in Asia has become a priority for the ISA as the organization aims to spread its core messages of respect, fair-play, excellence and innovation to more young people.
Global development is a key element of the ISA’s strategy and the consistent growth and reach amongst young people is a driving force behind the ISA’s ambitions of making Surfing an Olympic sport.
Nepal has joined the ISA as its 90th Member Federation. Despite being a land locked country, there is a growing StandUp Paddle community. Pictured is the Marshyangdi mountain river, where the Nepal National Surfing Association recently did a StandUp Paddle Tour. Photo: Nepal National Surfing Association
The Nepal National Surfing Association is aiming to grow and develop Surfing and SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) within the country. Led by Fred Aakerlund, a double amputee and a key advocate of Adaptive Surfing, the national federation is committed to creating performance pathways for athletes, enhanced standards in both coaching and event judging and supporting the ISA as it works towards the goal of Olympic inclusion.
The Bangladesh Surf Club, the governing body for Surfing in the South Asian country, was formed in 2003 with the support of Surfing the Nations – a humanitarian Surfing organization. Jafar Alam, President of the Surf Club, has been instrumental in the growth of Surfing in Bangladesh providing many young people with an identity.
Each year since 2005, Surfing Bangladesh has hosted a National Surfing Championships and there is also a developing Surf industry in the country.
Surfing in Bangladesh. Photo: Surfing Bangladesh
Fernando Aguerre, ISA President, said:
“Surfing is growing all around the world and the addition of Nepal and Bangladesh as new members is testament to this expansion and development. With its unique culture and expressive nature, Surfing truly is a force for good. Our aim is to touch as many people as possible with the core values of the sport.
“As we continue to reach more people, we are also starting to see and hear more about the new, state-of-the-art wave technology that will revolutionize Surfing. This development along with our strategy for global expansion will generate even more Surfing participants and fans around the world, by offering more access to and greater opportunity for the practice of the sport. Together, these factors give us further incentive and motivation as we aim to fulfil our Olympic ambitions.”
Nepal offers breathtaking destinations for StandUp Paddling. Foto: Nepal National Surfing Association
Fred Aakerlund, President, Nepal National Surfing Federation, said:
“This is a great opportunity for us to further the growth of Surfing and SUP in Nepal. Surfing provides many benefits to participants and communities and working together with the ISA will enable us to continue to provide motivation, hope and inspiration through Surfing, SUP and Adaptive Surfing.”
Jafar Alam, President, Bangladesh Surf Club, said:
“There is a growing Surf community in Bangladesh and there are now many young men and women who are Surfing regularly, participating in beach clean-ups, learning lifesaving skills and training beginner Surfers. Our members now identify themselves as Surfers no matter what social group they were born into. Joining the ISA will enable us to help even more people to develop a better future through Surfing.”
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 104 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).