California, US; 21 June 2014:
The International Surfing Association [ISA] yesterday celebrated International Surfing Day – the annual occasion that showcases the sport’s unique culture, youthful appeal, worldwide popularity and its environmental and sustainability principles.
As it is the ISA’s 50th anniversary this year, the global celebration in 2014 was also a way to express Surfing’s dedication to the Olympic spirit, highlighting the sport’s shared values of excellence, friendship and respect to honour Olympic Day on Monday 23 June 2014.
As part of the International Surfing Day celebrations, and to honour 2014 Olympic Day appropriately, the ISA encouraged its 84 National Federations, surfers, fans of all ages and other relevant stakeholders to host group Surfing activities for communities across towns, on beaches and in oceans.
More than 200 International Surfing Day events, activities and festivals were held yesterday across six continents and in more than 30 countries, including South Africa, Brazil, United States, South Korea, Australia and the UK. In Switzerland, a land-locked nation, a Surfing exhibition was established with stand-up paddle lessons and a beach clean-up in Montreux.
Across the world, other activities included organising ‘paddle-outs’ whereby surfers paddle out and form a large floating circle to celebrate friendship, life and Surfing. Surfing fans captured their International Surfing Day celebrations across multiple social media platforms by publishing Surfing stories, images and videos using the hashtags #ISD14 and #LoveSurfing that also had messages of support for Olympic Day and Surfing’s ambition to become an Olympic sport.
In Morocco the Wave Riders Association of Afghanistan made a special video in honour of International Surfing Day and Hurley South Africa gave free surf classes to youngsters at Muizenberg Beach – giving many of the children their first Surfing experience.
International Surfing Day received excellent levels of fan engagement across various social media platforms, which included a dedicated International Surfing Day image posted on Instagram by Go Pro [@GOPRO] that received over 100,000 likes.
The overall social media statistics reaffirm Surfing’s worldwide reach, high levels of fan and stakeholder engagement and the power of the global Surfing community to back the sport’s cause to join the Summer Olympic programme.
In celebration of International Surfing Day, Fernando Aguerre, President of the ISA, also organised and attended a Surfing festival in his hometown of Mar Del Plata in Argentina. The event included a paddle-out, a beach clean-up and live entertainment in the form of music and dancing. Additionally, in California, the ISA organised its own beach clan-up and paddle-out with all staff members participating in the beach celebration before commencing work.
Speaking in Mar Del Plata, Fernando Aguerre, said:
“We have seen this week the incredible support for Surfing around the world. Our sport is intrinsically youthful and this is clearly shown by the levels of engagement on social media by surfers, fans and other stakeholders on International Surfing Day. We will now look to channel this momentum as we look forward to Olympic Day.
“With our young fans, the international calendar of major Surfing events and our star Surfing competitors, the sport uniquely connects with the public via powerful social media platforms – we are at the frontier of youth engagement at a time when this is vital for the Olympic Movement.
“The values of Olympism – excellence, fair play and respect – are embedded in Surfing’s culture and it is these values and the sport’s unique ethos that make Surfing a true sport for all. These are the attributes that we will continue to promote as we continue on our path towards Olympic inclusion.”