Surfing Officially Declared of Public Interest

Written by Tamarindo News

By Tamarindo News Staff .Photos by: Julieth Méndez, Casa Presidencial

In a festive atmosphere in Playa Hermosa, Jaco, President Carlos Alvarado symbolically delivered Law 9737, which declares surfing as a sport of public interest. Minister of Sports, Hernan Solano, also present at the event, likewise confirmed that the practice and development of surfing are relevant for Costa Rica’s tourism, its economy and sports activities.

Set to the rhythmic music of the Municipal Band of Garabito, the President of the Republic and the Minister of Sports joined the Minister of Tourism, María Amalia Revelo and Minister of Environment, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, as they were welcomed by local authorities and representatives of the National Surf Federation in Playa Hermosa—the area often referred to as the National Surf Stadium, because of its excellent waves and the fact that many professional Costa Rican surfers live and surf there. Under a gazebo located on the beach, the President not only watched the practice of some representatives of the Junior National Team—who were training for the World Junior Surfing Championships taking place from October 26 to November 3 in Huntington, California in the United States— but also the training of the National Open Team.

The country’s renowned champion surfers Carlos Muñoz, Jair Pérez and Gilbert Brown also attended the ceremony in which the President made a symbolic handover of this law to the national surf delegation. The legislation will allow the State to promote this discipline by developing infrastructure and guaranteeing the safety of the practice of surfing, among other aspects. The act, promoted by Deputy Melvin Núñez and passed in late August, declares the third Saturday of October as the National Surfing Day, which is celebrated precisely this year for the first time with a series of activities coordinated by the Surf Federation.

President Carlos Alvarado explained that this legal framework will promote the integration of cultural experiences relevant to the activity, as well as economic and tourism related to the strengthening of the practice of this sport of national and international significance and impact. The initiative states that the Costa Rican Institute of Sports and Recreation (ICODER) and the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT), along with the respective municipalities, must take actions and promote activities aimed to celebrate this sport discipline.

Minister of Sports, Hernán Solano, said that surfing may raise a major tourism industry: “that benefits local economies, our athletes”capacity as well as resignifies sports as tool for prevention, inclusion and social development.” For his part, Randall Chaves, president of the National Surf Federation, has based the group’s philosophy on this fact and said that the adoption of this bill comes at the best moment for the nation’s surfing industry growth.

“We are seeking new employment opportunities for coastal areas, training surf instructors and certifying lifeguards. We are hopeful.” The ICT, the ICODER and the respective municipalities, “may promote actions and make agreements within their scope, to promote the country as a right place for the practice of this sport,” says the legislative decree.

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