Surfing plays its part in the social and economic recovery of Haiti

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Caribbean Nation Becomes 94th Member of the ISA

Since its formation in 2011, Surf Haiti, the national Surfing association of the Caribbean nation, has used Surfing to contribute to the country’s social and economic redevelopment following the devastating earthquake in 2010.

IMG_8158 (small)Haitian surfer Emmanuel Andris, enjoying a fun day of surfing in Haiti. Photo: Surf Haiti

With a strong focus on youth development programs, sustainability initiatives and the formation of the first ever-Haitian surf school, Surf Haiti provides better access to the sport for young Haitians while also educating members in best practices relating to the environment, clean water, local culture and personal development.

The International Surfing Association [ISA] has now welcomed Haiti as the governing body’s 94th Member Federation – a move that will provide the country’s Surfing community with a further boost. By becoming an ISA member, Haiti will benefit from further investment towards Surfing infrastructure and greater connections to the $22 billion global Surfing industry.

A sport filled with youthful values and energy, Surfing has a unique ability to connect with young people. The core values of respect and fair play make it a true sport for all and the growing Surfing industry can provide assistance to the economies of emerging Surfing nations with increased job creation and a boost to regional and national tourism industries.

FlagofHaitiHaiti has joined the ISA as its 94th Member Nation. Surf Haiti provides better access to the sport for young Haitians while also educating members in best practices relating to the environment, clean water, local culture and personal development.

Global development is a key element of the ISA’s strategy and the consistent growth and reach among young people is a driving force behind the ISA’s ambitions. Haiti is the 16th ISA Member to be added since January 2014, underlining the growth and development of Surfing around the world.

Speaking about the positive impact of Surfing on Haiti’s community and the addition of Haiti as a new Member Federation, ISA PresidentFernando Aguerre, said:

“Surfing has the ability to bring communities together with its unique culture and values of inclusion and respect. Everybody knows the difficulties that the people of Haiti have endured in recent years and it’s inspiring to know that Surfing can play a part in the country’s recovery and help the community feel positive through sport.

“It is the ISA’s ambition to continue the development of Surfing globally, providing more people with the opportunity to participate in the sport regardless of where they are from or their social background. In addition to providing better access to waves, the ISA also helps to introduce sustainable development initiatives to local communities and helps to instil core values of excellence, respect, fair-play and innovation.”

Surf HaitiA group of young surfers from Haiti. Photo: Surf Haiti

Surf Haiti President, M. Lionel Pierre, said:

“In recent years Surf Haiti has contributed to the Haitian community by generating a source of revenue, improving access to drinking water and leading on sustainability initiatives linked to the preservation of the environment and its resources. We’re thrilled to join the ISA family and we hope that the increased level of collaboration will allow us to give even more back to the people of Haiti.

“Surfing changed my life and I am truly energized to touch the lives of others through our wonderful sport. For Haiti, full ISA membership means new possibilities, new connections and new friends in the global Surfing community. We look forward to learning, teaching and contributing to the growth of Surfing in Haiti and the expansion and development of the sport around the world.”

Surf Haiti 1Photo: Surf Haiti

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).