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ISA launches new Athletes' Commission to serve surfers

Nic von Rupp © ISA/Reed




ISA Updates

Denmark's Casper Steinfath appointed chairperson of new group

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 9 September, 2015 - The International Surfing Association (ISA) today launched its first Athletes’ Commission in a move that ensures the interests and views of the global community of Surfers are properly represented within the International Federation and the wider sporting movement.

The new ISA Athletes’ Commission also illustrates the development of the world governing body for Surfing as an organisation that embraces best practice principles of governance in line with the International Olympic Committee’s guidelines on athlete welfare and the protection of their rights.

Two-time StandUp Paddle World Champion and surfer Casper Steinfath, 21, from Denmark, who is also a Vice-President of the ISA, was appointed Chairperson of the ISA Athletes’ Commission. The Commission is composed of a further six athlete members from four continents of the world who will represent the rights and views of the global athlete Surfing and SUP community, ensure their voices are heard within the ISA and can manage relations with the IOC Athletes’ Commission.

The additional ISA Athletes’ Commission members are:

Ms. Nao Omura (Japan)

Mr. Nic Von Rupp (Portugal)

Ms. Tia Blanco (USA)

Mr. Jamie Mitchell (Australia)

Ms. Leilani McGonagle (Costa Rica)

Mr. Greg Long (USA)

Further details on the nominated members can be found below.

ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said: “The establishment of an Athletes’ Commission is a significant milestone in the global development of the ISA and it demonstrates our commitment to offering competing surfers from around the world a vehicle to express their views and raise matters that are important to them.

“The welfare of surfers and standup paddlers is the ISA’s greatest priority. It is vitally important that, as our sport continues its global growth, our athletes have an independent means to communicate with the ISA leadership and ensure their voices are heard by the international sporting community.

“As Surfing’s campaign for Olympic inclusion continues, the creation a formal ISA Athletes’ Commission also reaffirms our dedication to the principles of Olympism and the Olympic Charter. We have worked hard for many years to build an International Federation that functions with the highest standards of integrity and governance and with a focus on providing a duty of care to the people who matter most in sport – the athletes.”

Casper Steinfath, ISA Vice-President and Chairperson of the ISA Athletes’ Commission, added:

“It is an immense honour to be appointed Chairperson of the ISA Athletes’ Commission. Athletes are the lifeblood of the sport and they are the reason why so many fans from around the globe love to watch and participate in Surfing.

“I’m thrilled that surfers and standup paddlers everywhere have a platform via this Commission to share their thoughts and views in a meaningful way. This will enable the ISA to engage and communicate with athletes of the world and empower them to make positive recommendations that will help our sport grow and develop further.”

ISA Athletes’ Commission:


1.      Casper Steinfath (Denmark)
Vice-President of the ISA
StandUp Paddle (SUP) Technical Race Gold Medalist – 2013 and 2014 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship
2015 European Cup Champion
2013 European Cup Champion


2.      Nao Omura (Japan)
Gold Medal – Nippon Surfing Association Grand Champion Games
5th Place – 2013 ISA World Surfing Games
5th Place – 2014 ISA World Surfing Games

3.      Nic Von Rupp (Portugal)
Silver Medal and Team Silver Medal – 2015 ISA World Surfing Games

4.      Tia Blanco (USA)
Gold Medal and Team Bronze Medal – 2015 ISA World Surfing Games

5.      Jamie Mitchell (Australia)
10 time champion, Molokai 2 Oahu – one of the most prestigious SUP and Paddleboard races in the world, a grueling 32 mile crossing of the Ka’iwi Channel between Molokai and Oahu
2 time SUP Distance Race Gold Medalist – 2012 and 2013 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship

6.      Leilani McGonagle (Costa Rica)
Silver Medal and Team Gold Medal – 2015 ISA World Surfing Games
Won two medals at the 2014 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship

7.      Greg Long (USA)
2014 Billabong XXL Ride of the Year
2012/2013 Big Wave Tour World Champion
2008 Winner of Mavericks Invitational

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