Candidates announced for 2022 ISA Athletes’ Commission elections

September 9th, 2022

The ISA Athletes’ Commission (AC) was established in 2018 and consists of 7 athletes who play a vital role in representing the voice and interests of athletes on executive-level, sport-based decisions. The ISA AC’s mission is to consider matters as they relate to athletes and provide advice and recommendations to the ISA. The Chair of the ISA AC holds a position on the ISA Executive Committee to ensure that the athletes’ opinion is heard at the highest level of governance of Surfing.

For the 2022 ISA AC Election, the ISA is has received 8 nominations for the 4 available seats on the ISA Athletes’ Commission. The elected athletes will join Justine Dupont (FRA), Alana Nichols (USA) and Casper Steinfath (DEN) on the ISA AC.

The election will take place online between September 15-20 during the 2022 ISA World Surfing Games. To be eligible to vote, an athlete must be of the current Olympic discipline (Shortboard) and have competed in ISA World Championships in 2019, 2021, and/or 2022. Each eligible athlete will receive an email with voting link instructions.

More information regarding the ISA Athletes’ Commission including the Terms of Reference, eligibility requirements for nominees, etc. can be found here.

The 8 nominees, in alphabetical order by last name, are:
  • Aline Adisaka


      My name is Aline Adisaka, I am from Ubatuba Brazil, which is on the North coast of São Paulo. I started my surfing career as a shortboard surfer competing around Brazil with my brothers, one of whom is still on the QS. I currently compete in the ISA for SUP surfing & racing. Surfing has always been my life ,even before I was born. My dad created a brand in Brazil called: “Hawaiian Dreams”, known as HD. HD is the main sponsor of the first Brazilian world champion: Adriano de Souza. From the first day I could go in the water as a child my family encouraged me to start surfing and has always supported my passion for it.

      When I finished school at age 17 I was debating between following a professional surfing career or to continue onto university. At the time professional surfing in Brazil was almost extinct and SUP was growing a lot. Shortly after, a friend happened to invite me to compete in a SUP racing and surfing contest. It was one of the most challenging things I have ever done and I fell in love with it. Doors started to open for me and I was able to make a career out of it.

      I am currently the Brazilian National Champion, holding 7 National titles (4 times Sup surfing and 3 times Sprint Racing), Gold Medalist at the South American Games, Bronze medalist at the Pan-American Games, and have won the Cooper medal for SUP surfing at the ISA Surfing Games in Denmark.

      As an ambassador of the sport my level of involvement goes far beyond just being a competitor. I am proud to be on the board of the Brazilian Confederation of Surfing as an athlete representative. When the 2021 ISA surfing games were held in El Salvador as the Olympic Qualifiers I was recommended by both the Minister of Tourism in El Salvador and the President of the Brazilian Confederation of surfing to be the local host for team brazil. The following year in 2022 Surfing participated on the Brazilian Olympic Athletes Commission for the first time ever in Olympic history. I was honored to be chosen as the athlete representative for surfing.

      I absolutely love every aspect of being part of the surfing community. From the people we connect with everyday, to traveling and experiencing different cultures. I speak Portuguese, English and Spanish and am used to communicating with many different types of people. These communication skills combined with my passion for helping others helps me create bridges to unify ideas and goals.

      The opportunity to be the surfing community’s voice with the ISA Surfing Games team would be a dream for me and a true match for my skill set. I am a big fan of the ISA crew and already feel like part of the family.

      I strongly believe that my perspective as an athlete and my previous experience as an athlete representative will allow me to make a huge difference as a part of the ISA Athlete Commission and complement the organization. Thank you for your consideration.

  • Afridun Amu


      Afridun Amu wants to push making the athletes’ interests the main driving force of decision-making within the ISA.

      Afri competed six times in the ISA Games as an athlete, representing his country of birth and has also been heading a surfing national federation since 10 years. Knowing both the athletes’ and the officials’ side of the coin, he is convinced: the time has come to make the Athletic Commission (AC) more proactive. He envisions the AC to find out what topics athletes want to shape and change instead of solely waiting for athletes to speak up to the commission.

      Afri has a background in law and development cooperation and experienced that the vast majority of all organizations tend not to be user-centered. In his professional life, this realization made him become a lecturer and coach of user-centered design and co-creation processes. What better way to put these to use than to start co-creating the ISA from the athletes’ perspective? Afri plans to start regular polls to find out what topics athletes really care about and to set up workshops so athletes beyond the athletic commission can shape the development of the ISA.

      If you want to know more about him, feel free to contact him. Though be aware that he will only pick up the phone when there is no swell;)

      Or you just watch this:

  • Bijan Bahrololoumi


      Hi, this is Daniel or Bijan for my Iranian name. I have been surfing for 12 years. I have masters in engineering management, undergraduate in Chemical engineering, and I have worked with managing things myself and work remotely.
      The reason I am running for this position is because I feel like I can possibly help you with voicing your concerns as athletes to the ISA. It is not an easy task, you might feel like trapped or you know there is some kind of misinformation that might go back and forth, and i can speak very clearly for that for you on issues you might have concerns with or I can raise the issues if you have any concern I have the free time to do so, the means to do so, and just pushing the Olympic sport in the right direction, I feel like to be part of that and if you guys give me that chance it would be an honor to help you both for Surfing and SUP and any other future sports thats going to be in the olympics, water-based in this realm, I feel like I love to be a point contact for you and all the athletes.
      I have the honor to meet most of you in 2019 in the world surfing games in Japan, and we had a great time walking through the streets of Japan and finding everything, which was a blast with you guys, so I would love to be a point of contact for you if you have me again, and if not, lets find someone who can do this for you. Keep in contact, feel free to talk to me, and reach at me any time. I’d love to do this for you guys if you give me your vote.

      much love, peace out, let’s catch some waves.

  • Victoria Feige


      After a snowboarding accident left Victoria partially paralyzed, she returned to skiing and surfing. She trained hard to become an accomplished adaptive surfer on the competitive scene. Victoria has been surfing for Team Canada since 2016 and won three consecutive ISA Para Surfing World Championships. She has won every competition this year and pushing for a fourth world title.

  • Ayesha Garvey


      I am Ayesha Garvey, an Irish surfer and lover of all things adventure.
      I am interested in running for a position within the ISA AC as I would love to be a medium in which the voice of surfers worldwide could be heard.

      Our Irish Surfing ethos is based around ‘Saltwater and Soul’. I’m sure every surfer can vouch for the incredible feeling we all experience when we grace the water for a surf; weather this is for fun, release or in competition. I am passionate about nurturing this aspect of our sport within a competitive environment and strive to drive the importance of sharing our respect and love for surfing itself through connecting our global surf community, driving accessibility, and ensuring inclusivity.

      I have unique qualities in that I have personal experience of the needs of a surfer, coach/manager and technical teams at national and international surfing events. I wish to take my personal growth from these experiences forward to constructively vocalise and nurture the needs of every surfer.

      I believe that transparent and honest communication between surfers and the ISA is pivotal in creating a safe, creative and productive space for development. In order to elicit development, we require feedback and data to validate our reasoning for change. As a physiotherapist I have data collection, analysis, and interpretation skills in which I feel would be strong to have part of the AC membership team. I am passionate in my belief that collection of objective data and fostering of creative spaces can unlock new ideas and progressive opportunities.

      The goal is to ensure your opinions are heard and shared productively so surfers and the executive committee within the ISA can strive towards reaching our mutual desired goals. Ultimately, I wish to share the ISA’s vision of making a better world through Surfing for ourselves and our grass root generations

  • Leilani McGonagle

    Costa Rica

      Hi guys! My name is Leilani McGonagle. Yes, like Harry Porter (jajaja) I was born and raised in a small surf town in Pavones Costa Rica. Surfing came into my life via my family. My parents and older brother have all been my biggest inspirations to be apart of this sport. I’ve competed since the age of 8 years old and proudly represented my country in multiple ISA’s since the age of 11. I guess you can say, “it’s not my first rodeo”. Along this journey I’ve learned and experienced so much thanks to surfing. Including being of the participants in Tokyo 2020. I am a strong willed person and I fight for what I believe is right. People say I’m passionate, creative, and very dedicated. Yes, in other words am a fire cracker! I recently graduated from CSUB with a Major in Communication and Public Relations. My goal is to continue to represent my country and surfing in the best way possible. Part of this I believe brings the responsibility to make our sport a more equal, fare, and beneficial place for future generations.

  • Leandro Usuna


      The first and most important question is why I surf, and it’s simple, it’s because I love it. Surfing brings me joy and a healthy lifestyle. Not only do we meet super cool people but also different cultures, languages, beaches, pure connection with nature and many other things. Started doing the ISA in 2004, its been over e decade with many good and great results. Learned a lot with all the different experience I’ve had as a competitor and enjoyed a lot seeing new nation bring their surf team to the World Games. This sport has given me many memories and a rich and beautiful life in the competitive and non competitive world. In my home town Mar del Plata, Argentina I own a surf school and also created a non-profit organisation called SurfED. All of it is done to give back to the sport, the ocean, the waves all that it has given us. Our team loves getting more and more kids into surfing to learn and experience all the magical emotions it can create for one. In my career I have competed for years on the QS, a two times gold medalist at ISA, silver medalist in Pan ams, and an Olympian. I want to help out the world of surfing in any way I can and being in the ISA Athletes Comission is a great step to getting involved in a better surfing future.

  • Natasha Van Greunen

    South Africa

      I am Natasha van Greunen, I am 23 years old and I am a professional surfer from South Africa, I am also an environmental warrior 🌿. I am running for the ISA Athletes’ Commission as I believe it is important for all voices to be heard. Being an athlete I have experienced the usual frustrations involved in competitions and the impacts these can have. I want to be able to share my input on what I think can be improved on and share how we, the athletes, feel on decisions that will directly impact us and our careers. I would like your vote as I am passionate about surfing, especially competitive surfing and I believe I can represent athletes, from all regions, fairly. I want to help improve all surfers experiences of competitive surfing by sharing mine and your concerns and recommendations.

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