Sri Lanka is full of surf spots. It is not for nothing that the place has become the new eldorado of family surf trips. Proof of this success is Arugam bay, located on the east coast of the island. The place welcomes many beginners who have come to discover the joys of skiing.
And in August 2018, the first women's surf club, Arugam Bay Girls Surf Club, was created. Sanjaya Shamalie is the president. Sanjaya Shamalie comes from a family of surfers. Her brother and father are surfers but found it too dangerous for a woman and were especially not happy when she came back from one of her sessions. But his determination did not prevent him from pursuing his dream.
Some of her friends were also interested and with the help of Tiffany Carothers, they were able to introduce the joys of sliding to the girls in the area.
Tiffany Carothers is an American surfer who has been living abroad for 8 years on the island of the Indian Ocean. She decided to set up this project after observing that there were very few girls in the water.
The project consists of discovering surfing for local women. With girls aged between 13 and 45, the club currently has 12 members.
From there, Martina Burtsher and Amanda Prifti joined the initiative. Each of them brought their expertise to carry out this project to the highest level. Martina Burtsher, still a student at the time, completed her final thesis on this project. She then took her friend Amanda Prifti on board, who took charge of creating a first local event: cleaning up garbage on the beach.
Before they got to where they are today, the girls had many problems. And the idea of a surf club for girls was not well received. "Women must be at home to cook" was one of the sentences these determined surfers had to face. Several people regularly went to the police to denounce the creation of the group.
The police, for their part, have visited Tiffany several times to ask him questions about this project. A police presence that only scared the local surfers a little more. Many members have left the group in order not to put themselves in danger. The most reckless held out.
The Sri Lankan Surf Federation has decided to encourage them in their practice, especially since the sport was accepted in the Olympic Games. In the future, the surfers want to raise awareness among as many women as possible in the area, create regional competitions and for some, become surf instructors.
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