We are super proud and stoked to support our ambassador, Claire Ellem, and her latest work in helping launch a programme as part of the Western Solomons Surfing Association's new women's strategy called, Solomon Islands Surf Sisters.
Paving the way for a more inclusive surf culture and promoting gender equality in the country, and with the support of local and international organisations and brands, the programme is empowering women and girls through surfing and fostering strong communities.
"Girls Go Surfing first program was staged last month and it was amazing! The girls were absolutely fearless. The programme involved a surf confidence, mindset, surf awareness and learn to surf lesson for 15 local women and girls from the villages. For the first time all ocean loving girls got a chance to connect, have access to equipment and support from both men and females from the association. It was such a special day."
The programme's objectives are to break down barriers to the sport, empower women and girls, create nurturing communities, encourage new friendships, and promote inclusivity in surf culture. It also aims to empower local women representatives to act as leaders in the sport, leading to greater women's participation and outcomes.
"The Girls Go Surfing programme is about promoting equal opportunity, having fun, and dropping judgment, with the belief that the best surfer is the one having the most fun," said Nagarita Baea, Gizo Girls Go Surfing women's surfing representative from WSSA. "We are trying to empower women and promote gender equality through Solomon Islands Surf Sisters and transcend the
principles of our platform and programmes to have ripple effects on women's empowerment and participation in other areas of societies, using surfing as a vehicle for change."
"It was amazing to be out on the waves, sharing the experience with other women and girls who were just as excited as I was," said Leah, one of the participants.
Claire Ellem, a WSSA friend and supporter, expressed her honour to help support this new concept and the launch of this new program and provide girls and women in the Solomon Islands with the opportunity to learn how to surf in a safe and supportive environment.
"The Girls Go Surfing program is a turning point for women's surfing in the region and will continue to bring women surfers together once a month in the Western Province. Local girls from nearby villages have also joined the programme, creating a community of female surfers who share waves and support
The Girls Go Surfing program is a step towards creating a more inclusive surf culture and promoting gender equality in the Solomon Islands. With the support of local and international organisations and brands, the programme is empowering women and girls through surfing and fostering strong communities. To support WSSA and the work they are doing in their local region, check out their website and over on Facebook and Instagram.
Big shout to everyone involved at WSSA and in particular, WSSA President, Jeremy Baea, WSSA Women's Rep, Naga Baea, and Claire Ellem for supporting the growth of women's surf culture.
Trip to the Solomons anyone?!