The International Surfing Association recently announced the forty recipients of its 2009 ISA Individual Scholarship Programme, and three South Africans are among them.

The lucky Saffas are Brandon Benjamin, Bright Ntuli and Khaye Ngcobo. Congrats to them all!

This is the third consecutive year that the ISA is presenting the Scholarship Programme. It began in 2007 with only five grants awarded. Within one year, it had expanded to 20 scholarships. This year, the ISA has increased the programme by 100%, issuing 40 scholarships to Under 18 junior surfers from 22 countries. They received over 80 applications from 24 countries for this year’s programme.

All the recipients made the cut to become ISA Surfing Ambassadors in their respective countries, because they are inspirational human beings, great surfers and students who want to succeed in surfing and school.

Before announcing the winners, ISA President Fernando Aguerre said: “I believe the Scholarship is a huge step forward by the ISA in areas of the world where we can’t do enough.  Together, we are supporting the dreams and hopes of good students who are also good surfers. We went from five to 40 scholarships in three years and we´re hoping to reach 100 in a couple of years.”

The ISA is able to provide scholarships due to the generous support from Billabong, Quiksilver Foundation, Reef Redemption and Global Surf Industries, Inc.

The 2009 ISA Scholarship recipients from other countries are:

Brian Masmut –Argentina
Martín Carricart –Argentina
Joaquín Castanon –Argentina
Dominic Reisch –Australia
Amiya Doyle – Australia
Ametza Nicholls –Barbados
Jade Niccolls –Barbados
Henry Rivera Hidalgo -Guatemala
Jordan Heaselgrave –Barbados
Cristian Rivera –Puerto Rico
James Philips – Trinidad
Victor Bernardo –Brazil
Isaac Norman –Canada
Tomás Villegas –Chile
Camilo Hernández –Chile
Manuel Mesen –Costa Rica
Alberto Muñoz –Costa Rica
Carlos Muñoz –Costa Rica
Roberto Rodriguez –Ecuador
Brandon García –Guatemala
Freddy Morales –Guatemala
Garren Pryce –Jamaica
Leon McKenzie –Jamaica
Nao Omura –Japan
Arashi Kato –Japan
Aman Ashraf –Maldives
Itzel García –Mexico
Jayda Martin Fitzharris – New Zealand
Joaquín del Castillo – Perú
Juninho Urcia – Perú
Miguel Tudela – Perú
Pedro Alcobia –Portugal
Lucía Martino –Spain
Darío Jordan –Trinidad
Federico Longo –Uruguay
Christian Arballo –USA
Demi Boelsteri –USA

Remember these names. We’re almost certain that there are a few future surfing champions among them!