Surfing federation looking for IOA recognition ahead of Olympic push

 There is good news for those interested in pursuing surfing as a career. With the sport set to make its Olympic debut in 2020 in Tokyo, the Surfing Federation of India (SFI) has taken baby steps

Published: 17th August 2018 04:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th August 2018 04:28 AM   |  A+A-

Sekar Pitchai, one of India’s top surfers, will also be seen in the event.

Sekar Pitchai, one of India’s top surfers. (File photo used for representational purpose only)

Express News Service

CHENNAI : There is good news for those interested in pursuing surfing as a career. With the sport set to make its Olympic debut in 2020 in Tokyo, the Surfing Federation of India (SFI) has taken baby steps towards getting the federation recognised by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).While the sport has always been more of a leisure activity in India, SFI believes that IOA’s recognition will help the body change things. “It’s a challenging task. First, we need to create state associations. We need some strong surfing individuals from different states. We have approached sports lawyer Nandan Kamath from Bengaluru. They have drafted a policy for state associations and we have a road map,” said Ram Mohan Paranjape, vice-president of the SFI.

However, it won’t be easy for SFI. In India, even in those disciplines that have brought laurels in international events, there are issues regarding federations and their recognition.“They (IOA) want around 10-12 state associations to be part of the national federation to get recognition. But surfing is a coastal sport and we don’t have that many states taking part. So we have to see if they can make an exception for us. Right now, there are no state bodies. But in the next three months, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka will get their own associations if things work out,” said Paranjape, who is here for the Covelong Point Surf, Music & Yoga festival.

While surfing is being introduced in the 2020 Olympics, India’s chances of representing look unlikely. “We are not at that level yet. But we will definitely be there by 2024.”

vimalsankar@newindianexpress.com



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