- 20 December 2013 | Surfing
A special nine-year-old surfer from Peru is the first recipient of the "ISA President's Award".
Gonzalo "Gonzalito" Torres Ramos has a physical disability. One of his legs is shorter than the other, making it difficult to balance on a surfboard.
Despite his handicap, Gonzalo has become a competitive surfer in his local town, and an inspiration in his local surfing community.
With the $1,000 prize, the Peruvian boy will undergo surgery on his femur, which will allow him to continue to pursue surfing, a sport that has literally helped change his life.
"It's an honor to create a new award that we could give this year to such a special and inspiring surfer. Despite having limitations, Gonzalo Torres Ramos continues to surf every chance he gets, participates in his school competitions, and always does it with a smile", says Fernando Aguerre, president of the International Surfing Association (ISA).
"He exemplifies the true spirit of surfing, and most of all, has become an inspirational member of his local community. I'm proud the ISA is able to help and create more opportunities for Gonzalo and others surfers like him".
Jose "Jarita" Gomez, Gonzalo's coach, works with the Municipality of Punta Negra, in Peru, to teach surfing and SUP to young kids, as an alternative Physical Education class in school.
"I have had a great experience with my school surfing competitions and I hope some day to be like Jarita Gomez, my role model and coach in surfing", says Gonzalo Torres Ramos.
The ISA President's Award will support kids with surfing talents and good school grades that live with economic disadvantages.