The International Surfing Association (ISA), the World Governing Authority for Surfing, is now accepting applications for the ISA Individual Scholarship Program. In 2008, twenty Scholarships will be awarded to junior surfers around the world.

The Scholarship Program is open to all junior surfers, ages 18 and under. Applicants must prove financial need, be enrolled in school in good standing, and be an inspirational role model to the surfing community.

The ISA Individual Scholarship Program's main objective is to provide financial support in order to facilitate an experience in surfing while encouraging the importance of education. The money must be used to travel to surf contests, and/or buy new equipment and to foster their education. Additionally, the program offers added incentive for national surfing federations to send teams to ISA events, furthering the reach of surfing, as scholarship recipients can use the experience to become better surfers, potential national champions and, even possibly, world champions while continuing with their education.

2008 will be the second year of the ISA Individual Scholarship Program. This year, Lungani Memani from South Africa, Guillermo Satt from Chile, Juninho Urcia from Peru, Diego Vargas from Ecuador and Imani Wilmot from Jamaica were awarded USD $1,200 Scholarships with respect to their great academic and surfing skills, as well as being inspirational individuals representing their countries and the entire surfing tribe.

The ISA is the first and only surfing association that globally gives this kind of support to all the 'diamonds in the rough', in order to develop surfing skills and an education. There are thousands of potential ISA Scholarship recipients; and, in following one of its most important missions, the ISA has decided to help those surfers…for a better surfing future.

Starting with five in 2007 and following with 20 recipients in 2008, it is the ISA’s desire to keep increasing the number of Scholarships. While most sports have different organizations that give this kind of financial assistance to athletes, the ISA has decided to take this first step in surfing, looking to the whole industry and media to come together in this project that certainly will make surfing stronger in the years to come.

Fernando Aguerre, President of the ISA, said about the great improvement in the program: “I’m very happy that we were able to go from 5 to 20 recipients for the ISA Scholarship for year 2008. This was only possible thanks to the generous donations from Billabong and the Quiksilver Foundation, each of whom contributed 35% of the funding for the program. They have shown, that when it comes to working for a better surfing future, both brands can leave aside their role as competitors, and became partners supporting the ISA program. In one year the number of recipients has increased 400%. I’d like to thank Billabong and the Quiksilver Foundation. It’s great to know that the two biggest surfing brands in the world have given such strong support for the program, working together with the ISA for a better surfing future”.

As proof of the program’s strength, the five 2007 Scholarship recipients Lungani, Diego, Juninho, Guillermo and Imani had the best year of their surfing career, while staying dedicated to school. The ISA is looking forward to a similar result for 2008.

For more information on the scholarship, visit the ISA website.