The International Surfing Association today has welcomed the Samoa Surfriders Association (SSA) as their 103rd Member Nation, further promoting Surfing’s growth in the Oceania Region.
Samoa will join Iran, Sierra Leone, Cook Islands, and Norway as the newest countries to join the International Federation, demonstrating the universal growth that Surfing has experienced after gaining inclusion on the sports programme of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in August of 2016.
Formalized in 2012, the Samoa Surfriders Association is recognized as the country’s National Federation for Surfing by the Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee. The association’s aim is to promote and advance Surfing in the country, with a special emphasis on their junior surfer development program.
The SSA plans to field a team to participate in their first-ever ISA World Championship and send three surfers to compete in the 2017 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship taking place in Hyuga, Japan from September 23 – October 1. Participating in an elite international competition will give the Samoan junior surfers invaluable experience in an international, world-class competition.
Three Samoan surf instructors recently took part in the ISA’s first Olympic Solidarity supported course in Fiji. A groundbreaking development for Surfing in Oceania, the course included twelve surf coaches from Samoa, Fiji, and Vanuatu, setting a new standard for surf instruction and coaching in the region. The SSA hopes to build on the success of the course and utilize their ISA Membership to hold an Olympic Solidarity supported course of their own in 2018.
ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said:
“We are very excited to welcome Samoa to the ISA family and work together to use the sport of Surfing to make the world a better place.
“The international growth of Surfing that we have witnessed in recent years, especially since Surfing’s Olympic inclusion, has been incredible. Surfing is spreading to all regions of the globe to areas that had traditionally been overlooked, such as Asia, Africa and Oceania, enriching the lives of millions with the joy and energy that is so unique to our sport.
“We look forward to helping the Samoa Surfriders Association access the benefits of being an ISA member, such as scholarship awards for junior surfers, Olympic Solidarity support for athletes and coaches, participation in ISA World Championships across all disciplines, and the ability to enter the qualification process to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”
President of the Samoa Surfriders Association, Keith Martin said:
“Samoa Surfriders Association membership with the ISA has been a longtime goal in order to get Samoa’s junior surfers recognized on the world stage.
“For more than a decade our surf team have been training and competing in Oceania events to improve the performance standard of the young surfers. Now these talented Samoans are able to compete against the world’s best, which was just a dream before, but now is a reality.
“We now have three coaches that have completed the ISA Coaching Course and can work with our surf team and reach out to the youth on the island of Upolu to nurture the safety and fun that Surfing promotes worldwide.”