The government of Costa Rica, on the authority of the President and the Minister of Sport, has decreed the 2016 ISA World Surfing Games a matter of public and national interest – meaning that the public and private sectors of the Central American nation can contribute economic resources to ensure the successful execution of the event which will take place in Playa Jacó, from August 6 – 14, 2016.
In the Presidential decree, it was acknowledged that the 2016 ISA World Surfing Games presents a unique opportunity to:
- Encourage physical and social development for Costa Rican citizens that will boost health and well-being through sport, recreation and physical activity
- Provide young people with the opportunity to channel their energies through Surfing either by participating competitively or recreationally
- Boost sports tourism in Costa Rica through hospitality and transportation services
The municipality of Jacó has also pledged strong support to the hosting of the Championship.
Coming on the back of the decision by the IOC on whether to include Surfing on the Sports Program for Tokyo 2020 at the IOC Session in Rio in early August, the 2016 ISA World Surfing Games could be the first major world championship to take place with Surfing as an Olympic sport.
Costa Rica has a rich Surfing culture and, according to Costa Rica’s Institute for Tourism, 10% of tourism in 2013 was due to Surfing – contributing USD $340,000,000. It is expected that the arrival of the teams and spectators for the 2016 ISA World Surfing Games will also provide a boost to the local economy.
Costa Rica spectacularly won the team competition at the 2015 ISA World Surfing Games in Nicaragua and Costa Rican Noe Mar McGonagle was also the individual men’s champion. The ISA World Surfing Games was also held in Costa Rica in 2009 where Jeremy Flores and Courtney Conlogue won the individual competitions.
Surfing in Costa Rica and the wider Central American region has had a big impact within the Olympic Movement following the announcement that Surfing and StandUp Paddle [SUP] will be included on the Sports Program for the 2017 Central American Games in Managua, Nicaragua.
ISA President, Fernando Aguerre, said:
“We are honored and delighted that the 2016 ISA World Surfing Games has been decreed as a matter of national interest by the President of Costa Rica. Surfing is a vibrant part of Costa Rican culture and this declaration underlines the powerful impact of our sport.
“Events like the 2016 ISA World Surfing Games are a wonderful showcase of Surfing’s youthful energy and unique culture – I can’t wait to see some of the world’s most talented athletes on the fantastic waves in Playa Jacó, during peak Surfing season.
“As we continue on our path towards Olympic inclusion, we are encouraged by our progress. We are embarking on a ground-breaking new era for our sport and it’s clear that Surfing has a very bright future.”