International Surfing Association Awards 40 Scholarships to Young Surfers in Need

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

First ISA Scholarship Ambassadors for Iran, Sri Lanka, Samoa, Ivory Coast, and Philippines demonstrates ISA’s commitment to global growth of Surfing

The International Surfing Association (ISA) is proud to announce that 40 Scholarships – worth a total of USD $20,000 – have been awarded to young surfers in need through the 2018 ISA Scholarship Program.

Senegal’s Mouhamed Sambe hopes to get his own surfboard with his 2018 ISA Scholarship Program award.

Senegal’s Mouhamed Sambe hopes to get his own surfboard with his 2018 ISA Scholarship Program award.

The ISA has now awarded USD $308,500 to more than 300 U-18 surfers around the globe since the program’s inception in 2007.

Among this year’s class of ISA Scholarship Ambassadors are surfers from five nations that have never received a scholarship before, including Iran, Sri Lanka, Samoa, Ivory Coast, and the Philippines. The addition of new Scholarship Ambassadors from non-traditional surfing nations demonstrates the ISA’s strategy to promote the growth of the sport in all corners of the globe.

In total, 20 countries across four continents are represented in the 2018 class of ISA Scholarship Ambassadors.

To see the full list of ISA Scholarship ambassadors, click here.

The aim of the ISA Scholarship Program is to accelerate the development of surfers around the globe, offering financial aid for both education and surfing purposes. The scholarships are awarded to surfers based on their financial need, dedication to Surfing, and academic excellence.

Notably, seven 2018 ISA Scholarship ambassadors represented their nation at the 2018 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in Huntington Beach. Nicaraguan teammates and sisters, Candelaria and Valentina Resano, Colombia’s Marcelo Nakogui Barro, Peru’s Amaru Rodriguez, Samoa’s Pulieta Martin, Uruguay’s Nicole Leiva, and Venezuela’s Luna Marcano competed among the world’s best U-18 surfers.

Iran’s Farima Nouri hopes to spread surfing to other girls in Iran.

Iran’s Farima Nouri hopes to spread surfing to other girls in Iran.

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“The Scholarship Program is a truly special initiative of the ISA. We know that the future of the sports lies with the kids, and we are committed to fostering their growth to ensure a positive future for the sport in all corners of the globe.

“We have seen many ISA Scholarship Ambassadors go on to become professional surfers at an elite level, and we have also seen many who do not become professionals. However, due to the scholarship, these kids can receive an education and make a difference in their countries, all while maintaining their love for the ocean and surfing.

“There are so many inspiring stories from this year’s winners, I look forward to seeing how they progress both as surfers and as human beings.”


Meet these three ISA Scholarship winners:

Freddy Marimon, Colombia

Freddy was born with phocomelia, a congenital malformation that results in underdeveloped limbs, but that doesn’t stop him from pursuing his dreams and getting out in the water to surf. At thirteen years old Freddy competed in the 2018 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship for the third consecutive year. He put on a historic performance earning a Gold Medal for his country of Colombia. It was a dream come true. Freddy is not only a world class surfer, but he also enjoys swimming and skateboarding. He will be back at the World Championships in 2019 to defend his title.


Freddy Marimon marching in the Parade of Nations at the 2018 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Mouhamed Sambe, Senegal (first photo)

Thirteen-year-old Mouhamed Sambe is a caring brother, a dedicated student, and a fantastic surfer. Together with his siblings, he takes turns sharing his sister’s surfboard at Virage Beach in Senegal’s capital of Dakar. He prioritizes his education and travels 40 minutes every day to attend school. Mouhamed hopes to compete in national competitions so he can continue to learn from his peers. He will use his ISA Scholarship to get a new surfboard, so both he and his sister can be out on the waves at the same time.

Farima Nouri, Iran (Second photo)

At the young age of fifteen, Farima Nouri is already making an impact in Iran’s surf scene. She hopes to inspire many other young women to try the sport that has changed her life in such a positive way. Surfing boosted her happiness and confidence, and that is something that she wants to share with other members of her community. She hopes to attend university directly after high school so that she can become a doctor. Her ISA Scholarship will aid her with her continuing education and her surfing career.

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).