BRAC Chicken 1st National Surfing Tournament!
This year marked Surfing The Nations tenth year of traveling to Bangladesh!
Since 2005 this trip has been made annually, and anyone who has been a part of it would be quick to tell you that there is always a new surfing adventure awaiting in Bangladesh. This trip was no exception; not only was it our ten-year anniversary, but it also marked the nation’s first surf contest planned by the newly-formed Bangladesh Surfing Association (BSA), and sponsored by BRAC Chicken.Held in Cox’s Bazar on April 27th and 28th, the “BRAC Chicken 1st National Surfing Tournament” was full of great waves, sunshine, and excellent surfers. We were privileged to provide technical support for this contest contest, as well as surf camps hosted prior. It was incredible to see eleven years of investment in a community bear fruit.
Another exciting factor was that the only female surfers in the nation came out to compete! South African surfer Kate Amm, shares, “It’s amazing how much surfing has developed as a sport with equal opportunity for both boys and girls. In previous years, the girl surfers only had finals to compete in and show off their skills. This year, they had their own organized heats on both days of the competition!”
The contest had a big turnout; tourists from Cox’s Bazar, Dhaka, and other parts of the nation came down to watch along the shore. “Surfing is still a growing sport here. These boys and girls are the only surfers in the entire nation. I still can’t grasp that the majority of people watching have never even seen someone ride a wave before let alone attend a competition” explains event photographer, Dakotah Gostynski.
The Bangladesh team went with hopes of impacting lives through the sport of surfing, and expectations were exceeded during this trip. Andrew Steele, a surf competition judge states, “The surf competition was a great indicator of how the surf culture is truly transforming the nation of Bangladesh. From corporate sponsors running and donating to the event, to major Bangladeshi politicians and celebrities traveling down from the capitol, its evident that surfing is becoming way more than a hobby for the street kids. It’s changing the face of sports and lifestyle in Bangladesh.”
Check out the photos from our trip at https://www.flickr.com/photos/surfingthenations/sets/72157650544298434 !