SurfTT is in the process of taking it's very first fully represented National Junior Surf Team to compete in the International Surfing Association's (ISA) 2022 World Junior Surfing Championship in Surf City, El Salvador in TWO WEEKS! This is the first stop for SurfTT on our journey towards our long term vision and goal of Olympic qualification by 2028 (LA) or 2032 (Brisbane). We are looking for our National community's assistance to initially help offset costs for Team Uniforms for the upcoming competition and moving forward towards our youth development program which includes training, equipment and travel for regional competitions across the Caribbean and in time the Americas. The SurfTT Team continue to work hard behind the scenes to secure funding and grants to yet no avail. Consider helping our local #SURFTT youth and #GETINVOLVED!
Thank you to Pan-American Life Insurance Company of Trinidad and Tobago & our SurfTT supporters for making it possible for our traveling Juniors to secure uniforms for the International Surfing Association 2022 World Junior Surfing Championship (ISA WJSC)! We even had requests to purchase our shirts by fellow competing nations! Team SurfTT represented from beginning to end!
The Smashing Success started with Coach J, Aiden Albada & Esther Hares' selection for the inaugural ISA and Olympic Solidarity 2022 Youth Athlete Development Program (YADP) facilitated at Puro Surf, El Salvador. Coach J made his mark bringing 30+ years of experience to the collaboration with the program coordinators and fellow coaches. He finished as the stand out in the Coach's Heats proving age is just a number and that he practices what he preaches! Aiden impressed all present as the youngest male athlete ("How old is he again?!") smashing water time and his heats with his technical ability, strength and confidence reaching the final with the older athletes present! Meanwhile, Esther as the youngest female athlete, stood out in the theory/classroom environment with beyond her years questions put to the professionals and brands present highlighting a natural surf analysis and presentation ability!
The arrival of our team trickled in and our youngest team member and the youngest female in the ISA WJSC event, Cheyenne Patino Ubeda, made her mark as a cool as a cucumber competitor. Always with a smile on her face Cheyenne's hard work, conditioning, pocket rocket strength and commitment to Coach J's plans had her excel in her heats with beautiful lines on the faces of every wave she rode to become a darling amongst the nations present!
Riano Louis, our golden locked boy representing Whim, Tobago became, without doubt, the face of this year's ISA WJSC. Every member of media was drawn to him as a visual representation of worlds coming together in Surf! He also proved to be representative of what Team SurfTT set out to do - experience, learn the global standard, enjoy every moment and grow!
Benjamin Harragin too was a wonderful and important addition bringing his cool steadfast trooper energy! Ben showed up every day and every time. From dawn patrols to evening analysis he was an example in staying present, focusing and enjoying each and every moment all the while growing from each one. He was also a steadfast support for his life long surf brother, Aiden - having his back from competition to kicks!
Esther Hares sadly couldn't compete due to an injury sustained prior to competition that required stitches. Her story is an example of how even in the face of pain and disappointment - when moving with a team we show up as a team player supporting our fellow teammates’ success. It was an opportunity to grow and learn in an unplanned way and Esther showed strength and modelled that well.
Aiden made his mark in Trinidad & Tobago Surf History! He excelled and moved through his heats with steel precision and focus. With the strong impression made from the start in the YADP, Aiden was one to follow and that, we and fellow competing nations, did! Our 13yr old demonstrated his tactical and technical ability against the big boys taking Team SurfTT to Day 7 of a 9 day competition and ranking in the TOP 40 worldwide!!! This was EPIC!!!
We humbly invite you all to stay with us on this journey and spread the donation site information far and wide to help us offset the costs moving forward to allow our Juniors to travel to compete more regionally and internationally! Thank you again for being a part of this first step in our marathon towards future Olympic Qualification! #GETINVOLVED #SURFTT