Peruvian Daniela Rosas received an ISA scholarship and won Pan American Games gold in 2019 before competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics ©Getty Images

Twenty-eight young surfers drawn from 12 nations are the latest recipients of International Surfing Association (ISA) scholarships.

"The geographical spread and the diversity of the surfers highlights the ISA’s mission to expand the sport to new regions and welcome new participants and fans," an ISA statement said.

ISA President Fernando Aguerre hailed the 16 young men and 12 women chosen for the programme who were drawn from the Caribbean, South America, Africa and Asia.

"I wish every success to each of these wonderful recipients," said Aguerre.

"I am so proud of all of the surfers from almost every part of the world who have previously gone through the programme.

"There’s no doubt that ISA scholarships have had a huge impact on so many from underserved and disadvantaged communities.

"No matter what struggles and hardship they might face at home, our dream is to see them succeed in life and in their surfing and I fully expect to see many representing their country at the highest level, the Olympic or Paralympic Games, one day in the near future."

The recipients of the scholarship will share a fund of $20,000 (£16,390/€18,480).

The winners include Jamaican Para surfer Nathaniel Bailey, who attends Jamaica College secondary school and represented his country at the last two ISA Para Surf World Championships.

"Para surfing is a new sport for us in Jamaica, so for young Bailey to receive this scholarship is tremendous," said Jamaica Surfing Association President Iniek Wilmot. 

"What it will do is it will allow for him to have access to specialised equipment and training which will help him to improve."

Fourteen-year-old Akash Pujar is ranked in the top ten for under-16 Indian surfers and intends to buy a new board with his share of the scholarship fund.

Thione Absa from Senegal is also 14 and took up the sport only a year ago.

She plans to use the money to help fund her education.

Thirteen-year-old Mehrnesa Sasoli from Chabahar in southern Iran is one of three chosen from her country. 

"I want to participate in national championships and be on the podium," she said. 

Trinidad and Tobago’s Jesus Maharaj is an environmental activist who cleans the beach whilst out surfing. He also told the judging panel that he enjoyed algebra.

The ISA have also confirmed that applications for the 2023 programme close on March 31.

Those entering must be under 18 at the end of the preceding calendar year and are required to be in full time education, and must demonstrate their commitment to surfing.

This year, applicants are asked to upload a short video explaining why they deserve an ISA scholarship.

The scheme was established in 2007 by Aguerre.

Since then some $388,500 (£318,440/€358,935) has been distributed to around 400 recipients.

Among those to receive funding was Daniela Rosas of Peru who qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by winning gold at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima.

She carried the Peruvian flag at the Opening Ceremony and finished 19th in the women's shortboard.