The ISA has applied for membership of the IPC ©ISA

Fernando Aguerre, the President of the International Surfing Association (ISA), has confirmed that the governing body has submitted an application for membership of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). 

The ISA's leadership is hoping to encourage worldwide growth for adaptive surfing by "unifying efforts across the globe" and is encouraging its membership to back the discipline.

The development of an adaptive surfing classification system and rulebook, as well as guidance from an advisory board comprised of athletes, experts and enthusiasts, has helped the discipline grow.

The next step appears to be gaining IPC membership, which Aguerre is very confident they will be able to do.

"Last week we filed for membership of the IPC," he said during a round table event here in Biarritz.

"We have been very successful in the last two years with adaptive surfing.

"We have done a great job of installing and introducing an area of surfing that did not previously exist.

"I do not believe there will be a problem with our application because we are the real deal and we are well organised.

"The issue will be when can they get us into the Paralympic Games?

"In adaptive surfing we have six different categories and they cannot fit them all.

"It is a complex issue but we have people from the Paralympic movement helping us and I think we will most likely be in the 2024 Games."

The ISA hopes that adaptive surfing will be on the 2024 Paralympic programme ©ISA
The ISA hopes that adaptive surfing will be on the 2024 Paralympic programme ©ISA

Last year's ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship broke participation records with 77 athletes from 21 countries, across all five continents, competing in San Diego in December.

The record turnout in the American city was an increase on the inaugural championship held in 2015, which featured 69 athletes from 18 countries.

Aguerre was speaking on the opening day of the 2017 World Surfing Games here.

The competition consists of national surfing teams comprised of four men and two women.

They will be trying to win individual and team medals.

The event will give the sport the chance to showcase itself before its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.

Surfing was added to the Olympic sports programme for the Japanese capital in August 2016, after years of ISA campaigning.