By Tom Lloyd, La Jolla, California, May 02, 2019: The International Surfing Association proud to announce the opening of the ISA Annual Youth Scholarship, which aims at supporting under-served youth with their academic and surfing ambitions, while boosting the development and growth of the sport in non-traditional surfing regions around the world.
The 2019 program will award USD $20,000 to girls and boys 18 years of age and under that show exceptional dedication to their education, passion for surfing, and financial need.
Since the program’s inception in 2007, more than 300 surfers from all five continents have received USD $308,500 in aid from the ISA.
The 2019 application deadline sets for July 15, with the 2019 scholarship ambassadors to announce at the end of the year.
Learn more about the ISA Scholarship Program and access the application HERE.
The 2018 class of ISA Scholarship ambassadors demonstrated the increased reach of Surfing around the globe in the lead up to the sport’s Olympic debut in Tokyo 2020.
Surfers from Iran, Sri Lanka, Samoa, Ivory Coast, and the Philippines all became the first-ever scholarship winners from their countries, planting the seed for future growth of the sport in these non-traditional surfing nations.
Many ISA Scholarship ambassadors have also launched successful careers after receiving their funding, most notably Costa Rica’s Carlos Muñoz, who earned the team Gold Medal at the 2015 ISA World Surfing Games, and Barbados’ Chelsea Tuach, who competed on the World Surf League Women’s Championship Tour in 2016.
Meanwhile, Colombia’s 13-year-old Freddy Marimon made history in 2018 as the first ISA Scholarship ambassador to win an individual Gold Medal when he took top honors in the AS-5 Division at the 2018 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship.
Mirroring this momentum, the 2018 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship featured seven scholarship ambassadors – all of whom achieved the honor of representing their nations at the highest level of the sport for 18 and under surfers.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:
ISA Annual Youth Scholarship “The ISA fully commits to supporting the future generation of our sport.
The scholarship program allows us to make dreams come true – helping young girls and boys to continue their education and gain access to surfing equipment so they can continue pursuing the sport they love.
Young people are able to get their first surfboard, purchase their books and school supplies, or cover travel costs to enter competitions.
Everyone has a unique mission that the program helps them achieve.
“It’s most incredible to see the vast amount of youth who are learning to surf in regions with nascent surf cultures, such as parts of Africa, Asia, Oceania, Latin America and the Middle East.
By helping these surfers continue to practice the sport, the stoke and joy of surfing exponentially spread and take root around the globe.
“While some ISA scholarship ambassadors go on to have successful careers in the sport, most do not.
However, the value that these children get from continuing their education and discovering the healing qualities of surfing is invaluable and part of our mission to make the world a better place.” —- Photo: ISA / Sean Evans