Norway has been announced as the International Surfing Association's (ISA) 97th member federation as the sport prepares to hear if it will be included on the Tokyo 2020 programme.
Facing competition from karate, squash, bowling, sport climbing, roller sports, wushu and baseball/softball, the ISA have been keen to stress the global development of their sport and its reach among young people.
“Surfing continues to grow worldwide and the addition of Norway as a new member is testament to the ISA’s global development strategy,” said ISA President Fernando Aguerre.
“There are 35 million surfers globally who participate in more than 100 countries and our aim is to spread the sport even further by providing better access to surfing opportunities and equipment for more people around the world.
“With its unique culture, expressive nature and special connection with young people, surfing is a sport that excites, thrills and captures the imagination of participants and fans from all corners of the world and backgrounds.
“Together, these factors are what fuel our ambition to place our wonderful sport and inspirational athletes on the greatest sporting stage at the Olympic Games.”
Norway are due to send an athlete to the inaugural ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship which is due to take place in La Jolla, California from September 24 to 27, while Team Norway are anticipated to make their debut at the 2015 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in California, from October 11 to 18.
The Norwegian Surfing Club and StandUp Paddle Association President Tore Kramer has outlined his commitment to continuing the development of the sport in the country with the support of the ISA and he hopes to boost the numbers of young people taking part in the sport throughout the country.
“We are delighted to join the ISA and to have access to ISA programmes and the many other benefits that come with our membership,” he said.
“We believe this is vital for the future growth of our organisation and the development of surfing in Norway.
“We also believe that the ISA World Championships are the best stage for competitive surfing and our athletes are looking forward to taking part in many world class events in the years ahead.”
Tokyo 2020 have announced they will put forward their proposed additional sports to be included on the Olympic Programme to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on September 28.
September 2015: World Adaptive Surfing Championships set to showcase the sport
September 2015: Two-time world champion named chair of first International Surfing Association Athletes' Commission
August 2015: International Surfing Association praise launch of "game changing" inland surfing lagoon Surf Snowdonia
July 2015: Surfing added to Lima 2019 Pan American Games programme
June 2015: Shortlisted sports hail "first base" on road to Tokyo 2020 inclusion