The Bangladesh Women’s Surfing Club (yes, that exists)

The news below reported from Cox’s Bizarre , an inspiring tale of overcoming adversity and transformation through the ocean…..

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Nahida conquers waves to popularise surfing in Bangladesh

 

Surfing brings joy to millions of enthusiasts around the world, but for most Bangladeshis the popular water sport hardly sparks any interest

  • A photo of Surfing at Cox’s Bazar sea beach
    Photo- Dhaka Tribune

When most Bangladeshi girls her age are looking to start a career, or families of their own, Nahida, 18, looks out for waves breaking on the beaches of Cox’s Bazar every day, to conquer.

Surfing has been around for hundreds of years and brings joy to millions of enthusiasts around the world, but for most Bangladeshis the popular water sport hardly sparks any interest.

In recent years, some adventure-loving young people have taken up the sport of riding the waves on surf boards in Cox’s Bazar, which has the world’s longest unbroken beach.

Nahida Akhtar Joy, president of the Bangladesh Women’s Surfing Club, is one such enthusiast. She shares her love of surfing with others as an instructor at the club, which has about 20 women as members currently.

“I have been chasing waves for the last six years with immense enthusiasm. And I have won prizes in surfing competitions as well,” she said.

Nahida started to learn how to surf at the age of 12 from her uncle, Jafar Alam, the first Bangladeshi to start a surfing club in Bangladesh.

Jafar, regarded by his fans as the “father of surfing in Bangladesh,” trains about 50 surfers at least three days a week at the Bangladesh Surf Club, which he opened in 2005.

Nahida, who runs the women’s section of the country’s lone surf club, credits Jafar’s guidance for her success as a surfer.

Nahida’s young life had been one of desperate struggles till she began surfing. She lost her father when she was five, and so had to stop going to school with only her mother to support them.

Her mother Rehana Begum said: “Ours is a two-member family my daughter and me. Life is not easy for us, but we have learned to live with the anguish. I would be very happy if Nahida achieves her goal of becoming an admired surfer.”

Nahida, too, wishes to overcome all of life’s ordeals and become a famous and successful surfer. Her life’s ambition is to popularise surfing in Bangladesh.

Over the past two years, she has been working relentlessly to turn the seaside resort town into a popular global surfing destination.

Talking to Dhaka Tribune Jafar welcomed Nahida’s enthusiasm and said that he hopes she would become a surfing icon from Bangladesh. He said they sought government support to promote the sport across the country.

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