Since its formation in 2011, Surf Haiti, the national surfing association of the Caribbean nation, has used surfing to contribute to the country’s social and economic redevelopment following the devastating earthquake in 2010.
With a strong focus on youth development programs, sustainability initiatives and the formation of the first ever-Haitian surf school, Surf Haiti provides better access to the sport for young Haitians while also educating members in best practices relating to the environment, clean water, local culture and personal development.
The International Surfing Association [ISA] has now welcomed Haiti as the governing body’s 94th Member Federation – a move that will provide the country’s surfing community with a further boost.
Global development is a key element of the ISA’s strategy and the consistent growth and reach among young people is a driving force behind the ISA’s ambitions. Haiti is the 16th ISA Member to be added since January 2014, underlining the growth and development of surfing around the world.
Speaking about the positive impact of surfing on Haiti’s community and the addition of Haiti as a new Member Federation, ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said:
“Surfing has the ability to bring communities together with its unique culture and values of inclusion and respect. Everybody knows the difficulties that the people of Haiti have endured in recent years and it’s inspiring to know that surfing can play a part in the country’s recovery and help the community feel positive through sport.”
“In addition to providing better access to waves, the ISA also helps to introduce sustainable development initiatives to local communities and helps to instil core values of excellence, respect, fair-play and innovation.”
Surf Haiti President, M. Lionel Pierre, said:
“In recent years Surf Haiti has contributed to the Haitian community by generating a source of revenue, improving access to drinking water and leading on sustainability initiatives linked to the preservation of the environment and its resources. We’re thrilled to join the ISA family and we hope that the increased level of collaboration will allow us to give even more back to the people of Haiti.
“Surfing changed my life and I am truly energized to touch the lives of others through our wonderful sport. For Haiti, full ISA membership means new possibilities, new connections and new friends in the global surfing community. We look forward to learning, teaching and contributing to the growth of surfing in Haiti and the expansion and development of the sport around the world.”