Mission to Iran to get women surfing
Champion's mission to Iran to get women surfing
Irish surf champion Easkey Britton hopes women around the world will try the sport
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 21 October, 2012 : - - Iran's Indian Ocean coast Chabar villagers stared at Irish Champion surfer Easkey Britton surfing in a hijab wetsuit riding a bright pink surfboard. It is not a view the Islamic state's citizens get to see often. 'They were all incredibly nice, really intrigued and interested. The police were worried that I'd hit the rocks and hurt myself. The worst thing really was wearing the Lycra hijab suit in 30-degree heat. I'm sure it would have been fine if I'd gone out in shorts, but I was keen to show total respect.'
Easkey's trip to Iran has been made into a short documentary by French film-maker Marion Poizeau which will be on French TV in October before beginning a tour of international film festivals. The arrived in Iran unannounced and unsure of their reception. "It was just a wild plan to surf where a woman had never surfed before, to try and get other women interested,"
Britton, 26, four times Irish surf champion and British pro-tour champion, hopes to use the film to get more women into the waves. "I'd love to see more women surfing and I'd love to see it become a sport for everyone. There's surfing in the Gaza Strip now, and in Bangladesh. There's also a brilliant scheme I've seen in Brazil where they are taking the kids from the favelas and getting them into surfing. It's transforming their lives"
Named after a break off her native Ireland's west coast, that was in turn named after the Irish for fish, Easkey Britton had little chance to avoid the sea. She points out that she is not just trying to get more women in the water but wants to reclaim a sport that was at its origins possibly dominated by women.
"In Hawaii, where surfing began, it was a sport of royalty and of the poor, and mostly of women. The engravings from Captain Cook's trip show lots of people out in the water on some kind of board and almost all of them were women. I've seen a lot of newcomers fall in love with surfing and I hope to be back in Iran next year getting a few of those women I met out on a board for the first time."
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Author: The Editors
Tags; Chabahar, Iran, Easkey Britton,