The members of a new surf organization were sworn in last weekend at Playa Marinero, taking the first steps toward the promotion and professionalization of the sport in the state of Oaxaca and beyond.
The Association of Professional Surfing and Pioneers of Surfing in Mexico, to be known as ASPPSMEX, has 24 members, all national and world surf champions and professionals related to surfing.
Headquartered in Oaxaca, the new association complements the duties of its board of directors with logistics directors, national teams, press department and psychologists, nutritionists, chefs and lawyers, all led by president Raúl Noyola.
Noyola is a storied surfer born in Puerto Escondido.
The new sports organization has the objective of encouraging grassroots talent and promoting the natural spots where this sport can be practiced in Oaxaca, from the shores of Puerto Escondido and the greater Costa region, to the neighboring Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
The organization has already managed set up collaboration agreements with seven municipalities in Oaxaca: Villa de Tututepec, San Pedro Mixtepec, Santa María Colotepec, Santa María Tonameca, San Pedro Pochutla, Santa María Huatulco, and Santiago Astata, this last one belonging to the Isthmus region.
At the national level, the leadership intends to bring into the fold locations in the states of Nayarit, Baja California, Guerrero and Michoacán, all located on the Pacific coast and offering beaches where the sport can be practiced.
ASPPSMEX members’ first tenure spans five years, during which time they intend to deploy an action plan that includes integrating municipalities nationwide where surfing is practiced and where future national champions could start their training, with their first goal being the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
“It’s not just surfing, this association can organize boogie board, paddle board, skim board, long board and nick board events, it’s an association that complements all water sports,” said Noyola.
One of the ASPPSMEX president’s first announcements was the celebration of two concurrent tournaments in August at Playa Barra de la Cruz, located about 32 kilometers east of Huatulco.
Young girls and boys will be invited to participate in one of the tourneys, while “25 [surfing] legends from all over the country” will participate in a masters’ championship, ages 50 to 60, that takes place at the same time.
“We are going to mix children’s events with experienced surfers so that [children] learn what it is like to compete in a professional event,” remarked Noyola.
One of the new association’s more ambitious goals will be organizing the International Surf Tournament during the Fiestas de Noviembre, for which they are already hard at work signing sponsorship deals in order to be able to offer athletes 500,000 pesos (about US $27,100) in prizes.
Noyola said the prize money will be evenly distributed among female and male participants, with the intention of motivating female surfers to join and compete in the upcoming world class event.
With reports by NVI Noticias