August 1, 2008: – – Billabong USA will sponsor the ISA World Games scheduled to be held in July 31st through August 8th 2009 in Costa Rica where 49 member countries will be invited to compete as national teams.
"I believe it is vital to provide a platform for these emerging surf regions" stated Billabong's Vice President Marketing, Graham Stapelberg. "It is the only event of its kind where you get such a large representation of so many different surf nations.
Traditionally the ISA holds the World Surfing Games every other year. It also organizes the ISA World Junior Surfing Championships and sanctions a large number of competitions worldwide. By securing the Billabong sponsorship, the World Surfing Games will now be held annually which is a huge boost for the ISA.
All three major ISA annual events (the World Junior, the World Surfing Games and the World Masters) award gold, silver, bronze and copper championship medals in true Olympic spirit.
Said Fernando Aguerre: "We are happy to welcome Billabong as title sponsor of the ISA World Surfing Games. >From local surf clubs to the World Surfing Games competitions, the ISA events are the place where the future stars of our sport are born, nurtured and celebrated.
While Olympic Surfing is now a reachable goal, the World Surfing Games will continue to be surfing's "Olympics" for years to come. The ISA Games are the annual gathering where all of the world's "Dream Surfing Teams" meet.
The ISA is the IOC recognized World governing body for surfing and all wave riding disciplines including bodyboard, kneeboard, shortboard, longboard, skimboard, tandem, stand-up paddle and tow-in surfing. The ISA works for surfing's development in member nations and the establishment of the sports in new regions around the world.
"We are proud to be involved with the ISA and help support the development of surfing in some of the lesser known surf regions in the world," says Paul Naude, President of Billabong North America Operations.
In 1964 during the first World Championships near Sydney Australia, the International Surfing Federation was created. This association gathered all the surfing nations together and began organizing World Championships every other year. In1976 in Hawaii, the ISF gave way to the ISA. In 1997 the International Olympic Committee granted the ISA full recognition as the worldwide authority for surfing, welcoming the sport to the Olympic movement.