ISA Welcomes Ukraine as 109th Member Nation and New Leadership in Algeria

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

The International Surfing Association (ISA) today welcomes two new additions to their global network. The Ukranian Surfing Federation (USF) will join the ISA as the 109th Member Nation, while Club Des Sports De Glisse (CSG) has been newly acknowledged as the entity in charge of the National Federation for Surfing in Algeria.

The Black Sea of Ukraine played host to the Ukrainian National Championships. Photo: USF

The Black Sea of Ukraine played host to the Ukrainian National Championships. Photo: USF

USF has established a set of goals to develop the sport and culture of surfing and StandUp Paddle – including all related disciplines – in Ukraine through the organization of competitions, implementation of educational programs, and the general promotional of the sport, particularly among the country’s youth.

With the upcoming Surf City El Salvador World Surfing Games to mark the final Olympic qualifying event for Surfing this May, USF aspires to send athletes to compete and stake their claims at the 12 remaining slots (5 for men, 7 for women) for Tokyo 2020.

The Ukranian National Surfing Championship was held in Arcadia on the country’s Black Sea Shoreline in 2019. While the country has no direct access to the ocean, the Black Sea and countless rivers and lakes in the country provide ample opportunity to practice surfing and its various disciplines.

President of Ukranian Surfing Federation Vasiliy Kordysh said:

“We are so happy to become a part of the ISA family. This is another important step on our way to developing surfing in Ukraine, not only as a cultural movement of like-minded people who found themselves in unity with the ocean, but also as an Olympic sport with a deep-rooted history.

“I am glad that now Ukrainian athletes who train both on our native waves of the Black Sea coast and outside Ukraine have the opportunity to participate in international competitions and proudly represent their country. I am sure, this step will give our athletes motivation to improve their skills and attract more young audiences to our sport and culture. 

“I would like to thank the entire ISA team for the work they are doing, the mission of a better future through surfing they follow and the guidance of our organization. And of course the whole USF team and everyone who has supported and continues to support us.”

In Algeria, CSG will now manage the sport of surfing as the official National Federation recognized by the ISA in the country. 

As the country’s largest watersports association with over 500 members, CSG has created a set of goals that will grow participation levels at the national level as well as raise the country’s profile as a surfing destination on the international level.

CSG aims to create educational programs in the country particularly targeted at women and children, provide equipment and resources to Algerians interested in the sport, develop surfers for international competition, promote sustainable initiatives, create content that showcases the conditions and talent that Algeria possesses, and create more diversity in surfing at the international level. 

In the short term CSG plans on sending an Algerian team to compete for the coveted Olympic slots at the 2021 World Surfing Games.

Algerian surfer Khaled Zirour training in Indonesia.

Algerian surfer Khaled Zirour training in Indonesia. Photo: Agustin Elejalde

President of Club des Sports de Glisse, Mohamed Bedjaoui, said:

“Surfing is a relatively young sport in Algeria when compared to other more recognized nations, but we have ambitious surfers and over 1,600 km of surfable coastline. We are honored to be joining the ISA family and hope that this new partnership will open the eyes of the international surfing community to what Algeria has to offer, in terms of both talent and waves.

“Our national champion, Khaled Zirour, has been training for this moment his whole life and now is finally the time for Algerian surfing to be recognized on the world stage.”

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“We are stoked to welcome these two new members to the ISA global family. We look forward to working hand and hand with each to grow the sport of surfing and spread its joy to the citizens of Ukraine and Algeria.

“As Surfing rides the Olympic wave to Tokyo 2020, we are committed to continuing to balance our development focus to include the non-traditional surfing nations of the world and grassroots movements. Algeria and Ukraine are two great frontiers with plenty of access to bodies of water to practice surfing in its many forms.

“Surfing’s Olympic dream is alive and well. Now, surfers from places like Ukraine and Algeria, who never imagined that they could get a shot to compete on the world’s greatest sporting stage, are given that opportunity to represent their nation and culture among the best national surfing teams of the world.”

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).