Asian Beach Games inclusion marks another milestone for ISA’s long-term development strategy in China
The International Surfing Association (ISA) has welcomed the inclusion of Surfing on the Sports Program of the 2020 Asian Beach Games, set to take place in Sanya, China between 28 November and 5 December.
The decision to include Surfing was made by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) at their General Assembly earlier in the month and communicated officially to the ISA in recent days.
2020 will mark the second time that Surfing has featured on the program, after inclusion in the inaugural edition in Bali, Indonesia in 2008. The sport’s inclusion in this major multisport event in China marks another key milestone for the ISA’s long-term development strategy to grow all Surfing disciplines in the country.
The ISA began holding global events in China in 2012 with the goal of expanding the reach of the sport in one of the world’s most populous nations. After multiple years of ISA Shortboard Surfing events being held in the province of Hainan, the ISA most recently brought successful editions of the World Longboard Surfing Championship and World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship to China in 2018.
Growth in Chinese Surfing reached a new high in 2017 when the country fielded their first-ever team at the 2017 ISA World Surfing Games in Biarritz, France.
Now, with the opportunity to earn a medal in a multisport Olympic Movement event, the bar has been set even higher for Chinese surfers to compete in a continental championship.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:
“Surfing’s inclusion in the 2020 Asian Beach Games in Sanya, China is another great moment for the sport and its development across Asia. We are honored that Surfing will once again feature in this great continental multisport event and I would like to thank the OCA leadership for the opportunity to showcase our exciting and youthful sport in 2020.
“The ISA has been developing Surfing in China successfully for many years and our continued commitment and investment has seen all disciplines of the sport grow through increased popularity, participation and commercial appeal.
“There is huge growth potential in China, particularly on Hainan Island, which has become the center of Chinese Surfing. Over the years, we have seen Chinese surfers improve, and at the 2018 ISA World Longboard Surfing Championship we witnessed an inspirational performance by China’s Monica Guo as she became the first Chinese competitor to win a heat in an ISA World Championship.
“We are currently riding a wave of momentum towards Surfing’s debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and it’s great to see more multisport events adopting the youthful, high-performance energy of Surfing.”