The first-ever registered women surfing club in Sri Lanka - Skills for Inclusive Growth was inaugurated at Arugam Bay in the East with the participation of the Deputy Head of Mission of the Australian High Commission Victoria Coakley as Chief Guest. Other guests from the High Commission also participated.
Skills for Inclusive Growth (S 4IG), an initiative of the Australian Government’s aid programme, implemented in partnership with the Sri Lanka Ministry of Skills Development and Vocational Training hosted this launching ceremony for the Arugam Bay Girls Surf Club which will receive professional development and certification by the International Surfing Association San Diego, California.
S 41G District Co-Ordinator, Ampara Uthumalebbe presided and welcomed the invitees.
“The inauguration ceremony to improve the skills of women Surf Club Members to become surf coaches and instructors, under the concept - ‘More Powerful Together’, Deputy High Commissioner Coakley said she was happy to inaugurate this programme which is a challenge to women who have proved this by overcoming all obstacles. This was a good sign and was encouraging. Not only young girls, even elders should engage in surfing”, she said .
President of the Club, Shamalie Sanjaya, a young mother who has seen her brothers surf from a young age said it was possible to have a family, meet cultural obligations and still pursue one’s passion. “My husband looks after my child while I surf. My husband encourages me to go surfing and I am honoured that I can train other young girls,” she said.
Nadiya, another energetic and active member said her husband encourages her to surf, because it’s a skill that not everyone possesses. “Why idle at home when you have a skill which you can pass on to others, my husband says”, she said.
Team Leader David C.Albert, Divisional Secretary A.C.A.Naseel also spoke. Inclusion Officer for S4IG Lavanya Christy proposed the vote of thanks.
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