Yangon, Myanmar, September 5, 2019: The International Surfing Association has welcomed the Surf Association of Myanmar (SAM) and the American Samoa Surfing Association as new member nations. The two new National Federations bring the ISA’s membership to 108.
Myanmar will send athletes to compete at the 2019 South East Asian Games in the Philippines later this year - the first surfers from the country to participate in an Olympic Movement multisport event.
SAM held the inaugural Myanmar Surfing and StandUp Paddle (SUP) National Championships on May 25-26 in Ngwe Saung with the participation of 32 competitors, also underlining the role of SUP in the ISA community.
With the mission to foster a positive community to promote surfing and related water sports, SAM aims to establish a strong foundation for surfing in Myanmar with a focus in developing the youth of the country.
SAM has been training 30 children between eight and 17 years of age to surf in the Ngwe Saung area since 2018.
As a long-term goal, SAM intends to create a national team to participate in international competitions.
The President of the Surf Association of Myanmar, Phone Kyaw Moe Myint, said: “It is with great pride and pleasure to be part of the ISA family and to begin our journey in the surfing world.
“It has only been three years since surfing was introduced in Myanmar and many of the local communities, primarily kids, have really embraced the sport.
“In the past, parents of local beach communities have always feared the ocean as it has claimed many lives; however, when surfing was introduced, this all changed and people began to realise the joy the ocean can bring.
“With the backing of the ISA and our national government, surfing has now become more than a hobby but potentially an outlet for young kids to have a bright future in sports.”
Myanmar has almost 1,700 miles of beach coastline that will be explored for the best waves.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre added: “We look forward to working hand in hand with the leaders and surfers in these National Federations, their National Olympic Committees and the public and private sectors in those countries to further grow and develop the sport so eventually they could field full national teams and potentially contend for inclusion in future Olympic Games.”