40 junior surfers from 20 countries recognized for dedication to surfing and education
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is proud to announce that it will award grants to 40 children from around the globe as recipients of the 2019 ISA Scholarship Program.
The junior surfers (under 18 years old) represent 20 countries across all five continents, exemplifying the global universality and growth of the sport.
To get to know all 40 scholarship ambassadors, click here.
Since 2007, the ISA Scholarship Program has awarded USD $328,500 to more than 350 young surfers from 62 countries. Scholarship winners are selected on a variety of factors, with particular emphasis on their dedication to surfing combined with their ongoing education.
Scholarship funds are specifically designated for a range of activities, including school fees, new surfing equipment, and travel to surf contests.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:
“The ISA Scholarship Program is an initiative that comes from the heart. We reward young surfers around the world who are making an impact in their communities. These surfers are discovering the power and joy of the ocean, while understanding the importance of an education.
“This program brings our mission statement — to make a better world through surfing — come to life through the youthful energy and passion of these children from all corners of the globe.
“We are proud to continue our commitment to supporting the next generation of the sport to ensure that the future is bright and that surfing’s joy spreads, improving the lives of everyone it touches.”
Meet some of the 2019 ambassadors:
Caleb Cobbinah (Ghana, 11)
Caleb Cobbinah discovered surfing about a year ago and fell in love. Caleb, along with two friends, dedicates himself to the sport and environment by running beach cleanups and taking time after lessons to clean surfboards. Caleb wants to study hard while continuing to perfect his skills so he can one day be one of the best surfers in the nation. When he’s not surfing he’s working hard in school and loves to read, play soccer, and listen to music. This scholarship will help pay for school related materials like books, supplies, school fees and a chance to get a surf team uniform so that he can continue to compete at more advanced levels.
Chirali Poojary (India, 13)
Chirali grew up in Mulki, India and has been surfing for the past three years. The speed and thrill of catching a wave instantly hooked her. She recently competed in the Mantra Grom Search and won first place in the Women’s Category at only twelve years old. Chirali trains every weekend and wants to participate in upcoming competitions in India and hopefully abroad in the coming future. She feels incredibly lucky to be part of the female surfing community in India, as it is quite rare and unique. The ISA scholarship will help Chirali’s family to pay her school fees so that she can continue to get a great education while pursuing the sport that she loves most. She’ll also get her very own board so that she can surf more frequently.
Cory Valentine (Jamaica, 8)
Eight-year-old Cory Valentine is an up and coming surfer from Jamaica who loves tearing it up at Bull Bay. He is dedicated to both his academics as well as his surfing. He loves his classes at school and is also a member of the track team. When he gets older, Cory would love to become a pilot, and continuing school will help him get there. He will use his scholarship for school registration fees, extra classes, books, and a school uniform. He also will use it towards a surfboard of his own so that he can continue to progress in his surfing career.
Venous Balouch (Iran, 8)
Venous is a young and ambitious surfer from Iran. At only eight years old, she has won first place in two championships in Iran for the under 10 girls division. Surfing gave Venous power and joy. She now wants to become a pro surfer. Besides surfing, she also loves to skate, scooter, and bike. She wants to go to university so that she can become a doctor and help others. Her scholarship will help her with the cost of English lessons as well as a coach so that she can learn new techniques on her shortboard.
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).