ISA holds first-ever Olympic Solidarity supported course in Fiji

By Tom Lloyd/ISA, La Jolla, California, Aug 09, 2017: The International Surfing Association (ISA) recently took a big step in the global development of Surfing and held its first-ever Olympic Solidarity supported coaching course in Fiji, from July 20-27 (Olympic Solidarity surfing supported course).


Olympic Solidarity is a global development initiative of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that is aimed at supporting National Olympic Committees (NOC) around the globe, particularly those with the greatest need. With the IOC’s decision to include Surfing on the Sports Programme of the Tokyo 2020 Games in August of 2016, Surfing is now able to access the IOC’s initiatives which help to support the global development of the sport.

Olympic Solidarity offers support for technical courses for coaches, scholarships for athletes, and programmes that promote the values of Olympic Agenda 2020, such as sustainability, gender equality and diversity, and social development.

The ISA Surf Level 1 and Surf Level 2 courses that took place in Fiji were done in collaboration with the Fiji Surfing Association and the Fijian National Olympic Committee.

The support from Olympic Solidarity allowed the courses to open to surf coaches from countries throughout Oceania and the initiative was an incredible opportunity to improve the standard of surf coaching throughout the region and to give these coaches access to a higher level of surf coaching training and methodology.

The courses took place on Malolo Island, just a short distance from the world-class Fijian reefbreaks of Cloudbreak and Restaurants, providing the coaches with world-class waves to surf and practice the delivery of their coaching lessons.

Six of the participating surf coaches came from Fiji, three from Vanuatu, and three from Samoa, with the expert instruction of ISA Course Presenter from New Zealand, Lee Ryan.

The ISA plans to build on the success of this first Olympic Solidarity course in Fiji, with plans in the near future to hold courses in the Dominican Republic and Guatemala.

The ISA aims to strengthen its collaboration with Olympic Solidarity, its National Federations, and their corresponding National Olympic Committees across all five continents to develop the sport in traditional and non-traditional Surfing nations that lack adequate funding.

ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said:

“We are grateful to Olympic solidarity and the IOC for supporting the ISA and our friends in Oceania on this debut of our collaboration.

“Olympic Solidarity represents a fantastic opportunity for the ISA, our surf coaches and surfers around the world to benefit from surfing’s inclusion in the Olympic Games through such coaching courses. The ISA is committed to working closely with the IOC and Olympic Solidarity to maximize this collaborative opportunity and to help contribute to the growth and well-being of the sport.

“This is one of the numerous examples of the positive, global impact of Olympic surfing. Olympic Solidarity will be a key tool in bolstering support for surf programs in traditional surfing nations as well as reaching new surfers in non-traditional nations that wish to practice the sport.”

ISA Course Presenter Lee Ryan, from New Zealand, added:

“The ISA Courses held in Fiji with the support of Olympic Solidarity were a milestone for the development of Surfing in Oceania and a huge step for improving the coaching standard in the region. Typically, many of these coaches have had the mentality to just get out there and give it a go but the ISA courses were key to help change their mindset to become more organized in their coaching delivery. This development initiative was worthwhile to organize and something I hope the ISA can do more of in the Oceania region.”

To learn more about Olympic Solidarity support for Surfing from the ISA and how to apply, click here. Photo: ISA

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