ISA spurs growth in non-traditional surfing nations across Asia
The International Surfing Association (ISA) today has welcomed the Oman Surfing Association and the Mongolian Surfing Federation as new Member Nations, bringing the International Federation’s total membership to 106 nations across all five continents.
The addition of Oman and Mongolia highlights the ISA’s continued strategy to grow the sport of Surfing in all its disciplines across non-traditional surfing regions – and particularly in Asia ahead of the sport’s historic debut at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Earlier this month, Surfing was confirmed on the sports programme for the 2020 Asian Beach Games, in Sanya, China, further evidence of the success of this growth strategy.
The Oman Surfing Association has made big steps in the development of Surfing in the country, holding its first ever surf contest in August 2018. The association has established goals to further grow the sport, including gaining recognition from the ministry of sport, creating a membership programme for Omani surfers, promoting the country as a surfing destination, and addressing environmental issues surrounding the country’s coastline.
While Mongolia does not have access to the sea, ISA membership will create a platform to cater to disciplines that can be practiced on flat water, such as StandUp Paddle, or indoors with wave pool technology. With recognition from the Mongolian National Olympic Committee and ISA membership approval, the Mongolian Surfing Federation aims to now organize indoor surfing competitions, set up a network of surfing clubs throughout the country, collaborate with other ISA Member Nations in Asia, encourage instructors to obtain ISA instructor certification, and promote the sport on a national level through a media campaign.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:
“We are excited to welcome Oman and Mongolia to the ISA family to help them develop the sport and achieve their goals on a national level.
“The growth of surfing in non-traditional surfing nations is testimony to how surfing’s Olympic inclusion has expanded the sport to new corners of the globe. Surfers that thought the Games were far out of reach, now have a tangible dream that they can pursue.
“The beauty of surfing is that it does not discriminate on class, race, or creed. In the water we are all equal, and surfers from all 106 of our member nations have an equal opportunity to enjoy the ocean and water.”
Oman Surfing Association President Nasser al Ghadani said:
“Surfing is steadily developing in Oman. We hope to gain momentum and generate funds to donate more surfboards to the Omani youth and coach them on how to ride waves.
“We have a vision to educate Omanis and visiting foreigners about our sport, which we will accomplish by holding our second competition this year, registering with the local Ministry of Sport, and encouraging others to become ISA certified like myself. Eventually we hope to field an Olympic team of Omani surfers. That would be the ultimate goal!
“Becoming an ISA member will help us to organize the sport better and safer in Oman and make Surfing more accessible to those who want to learn in our country, particularly for the youth.”
Mongolia Surfing Federation President Tamir Amarbayasgalan said:
“Joining the ISA is a crucial step towards promoting and popularizing the sport of Surfing in Mongolia.
“This creates an opportunity for us to field a national team to compete at the ISA’s international competitions.
“The MSF has created a platform that will allow surfers to get information and become a part of the worldwide surfing community.”