April 12 – May 6, 2017
Bangladesh is a nation located on the northern edge of the Bay of Bengal. It is bordered on three sides by India and shares one border with Myanmar. It is roughly the size of the state of Iowa but as a nation, it contains the eighth highest population in the world. On the southeastern side of the country is a coastal city called Cox’s Bazar. Our mission is to ignite a passion for surfing and service within this coastal community of Bangladesh.
To equip, mobilize and train local Bengali surfers to bless and transform their community.
Surfing The Nations’ first trip to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh was in the fall of 2003. Since then STN has been instrumental in introducing the sport of surfing to this beach community. Through the generosity of many sponsors and donors, STN has had the privilege of bringing dozens of surfboards and bodyboards into Bangladesh for the purpose of igniting new life and joy in this city. Connecting with the first Bangladeshi surfer, Jafar Alam, has served as a doorway into this beautiful country and its community.
In 2005 surf history was made when the first ever surf contest was held upon the shores of Bangladesh. Surfing The Nations hosted the event, which included a boys surfing and bodyboarding category. The enthusiasm and heart that was shown by the young surfers was enough to amp out the entire community. The passion for surfing that was birthed in the Bengali people helped to pave the way for Surfing The Nations see a surf club established in Cox’s Bazar.
Presently there are over 70 surfers in the nation and surfing has provided many young people with an identity. The members of the surf club are no longer categorized as “the street kids” or “the uneducated” – they are now recognized as surfers no matter what social group they were born into. With this newfound identity, a community of young men and women are working together to serve their city. Participating in large beach cleanups, teaching ocean safety, swimming lessons and, of course, surfing, they have enthusiastically embraced the motto of Surfing The Nations – “Surfers Giving Back”.
Our goal is to see an International Surf Base established in this newly ignited surf city, which would serve as a place to mentor young people, teach English and water safety, develop community projects, bring drug and alcohol-free awareness and help to establish the surfers as entrepreneurs in the surf industry.