Young promising surfers have received scholarships from the ISA ©Getty Images

The International Surfing Association (ISA) has awarded 43 scholarships to youths around the world from 15 countries, to aid the spread of the sport in non-traditional surfing nations.

A total of $20,000 (£14,900/€16,400) will be distributed among recipients who were selected based on their financial need as well as their dedication to education and surfing.

Countries which will benefit from the initiative include Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, India, Iran, Jamaica, Maldives, Morocco, Senegal, The Gambia, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela.

Scholarships have previously helped with the development of surfers who have gone on to win medals at ISA events, including Costa Rica's Carlos Muñoz and Chelsea Tuach of Barbados. 

In 2019, Peru's ISA scholarship ambassador Daniella Rosas earned a provisional slot for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after claiming women's shortboard gold at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.

"This is always my favourite part of the year, when we have a chance to give back to the youth of our sport, those who will carry the torch of surfing into the future," said ISA President Fernando Aguerre.

"Our 14-year-and-counting commitment to the ISA Scholarship Programme is testament to our dedication to spreading the joy of surfing all around the globe, especially to surfers who are underserved and disadvantaged.

"Whether due to the country that they are from, their social status, or gender, these scholarship ambassadors face a tougher road than most to pursuing their dreams of education and surfing.

Gabrielle Chung of Jamaica was one of the 43 recipients, with the 10-year-old putting money towards a college fund ©ISA
Gabrielle Chung of Jamaica was one of the 43 recipients, with the 10-year-old putting money towards a college fund ©ISA

"It is our duty to make sure that they get their chance.

"It is astounding to see one of our scholarship winners climb all the way to the greatest stage in sports and earn a spot at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

"As surfing gains more momentum in the Olympic Movement, achieving inclusion in more multisport events in the future, I am sure that we will see more and more scholarship ambassadors shine at the top of their disciplines."

One of the featured recipients is Genesis Isabel Borja Garcia of Ecuador, who, at the age of 15, is ranked first on the national circuit.

Her scholarship is set to go towards a computer with internet access for a year, as she has to sit online classes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indian 17-year-old Praveen Kumar is one of the hottest prospects in Mangalore, but is also an ISA certified instructor and now teaches children from his local village how to surf.

Seven-year-old Maria Elouedrhiri of Morocco dreams of being a champion surfer in the future to help develop the sport in her home nation, and will purchase a board to suit her height and a winter wetsuit with her scholarship funds.