The International Surfing Association (ISA) Executive Committee (EC) met remotely October 15 via video conference and reviewed a number of strategic matters for the organization.
Considering the circumstances of the global pandemic, the EC approved the postponement of the 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM) originally scheduled to be held during the Surf City El Salvador World Surfing Games (WSG), which have been postponed to 2021. The AGM will be scheduled at a date to be confirmed during the 2021 WSG in El Salvador.
Within the context of governance reform, the EC also took the following decisions:
- To include the values of non-discrimination, gender equality, cultural tolerance and peaceful relations between nations and people in the core objectives of the ISA Constitution (to be submitted for approval at the 2021 AGM);
- To establish a three-term limit for Executive Committee Members, while preserving the ability for EC Members to run for President at the end of a third term (to be submitted for approval at the 2021 AGM);
- To reinforce the credibility of the election process by ensuring a secret ballot for all elections, regardless of the number of candidates
- To evaluate and approve a policy on safeguarding of athletes;
The EC received a report from its Vice President and 5-time World Champion, Casper Steinfath (DEN) on the development of Stand Up Paddle, in particular after the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to award the governance to the ISA for SUP at the Olympic level.
The EC rejoiced in the CAS confirmation of the ISA’s authority for SUP at the Olympic level. The EC furthermore reaffirmed the organization’s full commitment to the development of the sport, opportunities for the athletes and the inclusion of SUP in multi-sport games, including the Olympic Games.
The EC reviewed the latest planning and simplification measures for surfing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, as well as surfing’s place in the program for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games following the organizers’ proposal to host surfing in Tahiti.
In addition, the EC reviewed and approved organizational updates on e-Learning Education Programs, Finance, Development, launch of an ISA Medical Commission, Gender Equality Initiatives and the Solidarity Fund for National Federations.
ISA President, Fernando Aguerre said:
“These have been challenging and uncertain times for all of us, but out of this health and economic crisis we see opportunities to reaffirm our values and expand the organization’s reach and mission to create a better world through surfing.
“My colleagues and I in the EC are united around our long-term goals of securing surfing as a permanent sport of the Olympic program through Los Angeles 2028 and beyond, as well the inclusion of SUP in the Games program.
“We also recognize and appreciate the extraordinary efforts being made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Tokyo Organizing Committee to manage these extremely difficult circumstances with COVID-19. We are fully committed to the success of the Games and 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, 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).