Afghanistan surfing receives shot in the arm from International Surfing Association

Afghanistan's first representative at the World Surfing Games Afridun Amu. © Afridun Amu/Facebook
Afghanistan's first representative at the World Surfing Games Afridun Amu. © Afridun Amu/Facebook

Kabul, Afghanistan, November 2, 2020: Afghanistan surfing is riding the crest of a wave after receiving funding from the International Surfing Association.

The ISA last week announced that it will provide financial aid to 11 National Surfing Federations, including Afghanistan, from the ISA’s solidarity fund.

The ISA will give more than US$35,000, to be distributed to fund projects that will aid communities that have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 11 national federations will cover four continents. Afghanistan is the only country in Asia to receive funds.

In a statement on its website, the ISA said projects that will be funded will range according to the needs of each individual community, such as community uplift programmes, distribution of sanitation supplies, membership fees being waived, offsetting economic losses from the downturn in tourism, providing well-balanced food and potable water to families in need, and organising classes remotely for students that have been unable to attend school.

The amount of funds distributed to each country depends on the particular initiatives and projects that each country sent in their applications.

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said: “We are encouraged by all those in our global surfing family that reached out for help and presented creative initiatives. It warms us to see positive action in such a difficult time for all. 

“This solidarity initiative is a reflection of our mantra 'A Better World Through Surfing'. The principle of solidarity with our affected National Federations is more important than ever in these difficult times.”

Although landlocked, Afghanistan has a community of surfers mostly based overseas. In 2017, Afghanistan took part for the first time at the ISA’s World Surfing Games in Biarritz, France. The first Afghan Surf Championship was held in 2015 in Ericeira, Portugal.