miércoles, 31 de marzo de 2010

“FOR THE LOVE OF SURF – CUBA”






The Pan American Surf Association has begun a new project called "For the Love of Surf", which focuses on the development of the sport in underdeveloped countries.

The first one was held this past week in La Habana, Cuba.

PASA purchased the basic equipment necessary to run a surf competition and then spent the week there holding seminars in the development of the sport including surf schools, coaching, competing, judging, and the technical aspects of the sport.

They were also oriented in creating surf clubs, associations, and a federation, later to be recognized by the national Olympic Committee.

The concept of the Project was conceived by PASA President Maile Aguerre after visiting Cuba last May. "I saw the dire need for help from surfers that want to compete and progress though have no idea of how to go about competing or running an event. They are basically isolated from the rest of the world. There is no industry whatsoever nor the money to buy needed materials.......the minimum wage is $12 USD per month !! ".

The Project, "For the Love of Surf" is as follows:

Day 1-4 Seminars held in a closed venue with a projector and screen with a coffee break and lunch for 25 people that went through early afternoon.

In the afternoon it was practice at the beach .

On Saturday, all the information learned throughout the week was put into practice and they learned the technical aspects of running an surfing event, including the positions of Beach Marshal, Spotter, Tabulator, and judging.

We ran the first ever National Competition in Open Surf and Open Bodyboarding. The champions went on to compete the following day against, 3 neighboring nations, Jamaica, Barbados, and Dominican Republic.

The waves accompanied PASA once again though it was windy on the first day, the waves were about 1 1/2 meters. The Cubans learned their lessons well applying all the knowledge learned during the week into action. It was nice to see the recognition and confidence on their faces as they realized what was happening for them.

The Cubans had their first champions in Open and in Bodyboarding, next we will include the women as they weren't quite ready yet.

The winners went on to compete the next day in the first International event against neighboring countries, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and Barbados.

The competition went well with waves a little smaller but with better conditions.

The Cubans were in awe of what was happening, the on lookers were mystified that what they thought were just a bunch of crazy kids were actually competing in an organized sport !

We had visitors from the local hotels, and local government officials, curious to see what was actually happening in their back yard.

All the people involved did their best to do whatever was needed to make this project a big success, the main people are;

Maile Aguerre, PASA President, Organizer, Coordinator, and Contest director.
Juca de Barros, PASA Vice President, Co-coordinator, and Technical Director
Marcos Conde, gave the seminars on Surf Schools, Coaching, Competing, along with actual classes on the beach with imaginary surf and water demonstrations. He also worked during the competitions as Assistant Contest Director.

Jordão Bailo, PASA Headjudge, gave the seminars on judging and worked as Head Judge in National and International competitions.

Eduardo Valdes, Co Organizer, and Assistant Technical Director.
Blair Cording, who worked hard to raise money to help sponsor the event.

There were many others that helped to make this project become a reality including PASA Secretary Paul West who could not make it.

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