PHILLIP Seidler, a 14-year-old pupil of the Namib High School in Swakopmund, was one of 27 under-18 surfers from 19 countries (and one of only three surfers from Africa) to be awarded a US$1 000 (nearly N$9 000) scholarship from the International Surfing Association’s (ISA) annual Individual Scholarship Programme.
According to an ISA news release, the money must be used to travel to surf contests, upgrade surfing equipment, and to foster the surfer’s education over the next 12 months.
“After six years of delivering scholarships and seeing this programme do so much good for so many good young surfers around the world, we are definitely very happy. I believe our tribe is capable of giving more.
“This programme does a lot for many deserving people, so we are going to work even harder to make it grow. This way, great students and surfers, all inspirational to their peers, will get the chance to fulfil their dreams,” ISA President Fernando Aguerre is quoted as saying.
According to Rainer Eimbeck of Element Riders Adventure Sports in Swakopmund, who manages the Namibian Surfing Association, Seidler has won both 2011 and 2012 junior surf championships in Namibia. He is also a competitive gala swimmer and has competed internationally before.
“This is a financial aid to keep the development of recipients’ surfing and educational skills up. The scholarship will enable Phillip to buy new and appropriate equipment, focus on studying without worrying about financial problems and travel to international contests better prepared,” said Eimbeck.
“These ISA scholarship recipients are inspirational individuals who strive to succeed in both surfing and education. Now that they been awarded the scholarships, they are worthy to be called ‘ISA Ambassadors’. They personify what the ISA promotes – working hard in school, enjoying surfing and achieving big goals,” the ISA news release stated.