A new Athletes' Commission is being formed by the International Surfing Association (ISA) as part of preparations for the sport's debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The ISA say that the new commission will ensure that “athletes’ opinions are heard at the highest level of governance in surfing, standup paddle, and all surf-related disciplines.”
The ISA also state that the Athletes' Commission will ensure that the rights and interests of athletes are represented to the ISA Executive Committee.
The commission will also consider issues relating to athletes and give advice to the ISA on athlete-related matters whilst it will also provide both current and past international athletes the opportunity to contribute to the development of the sport.
Additionally, the new commission will liaise with the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Athletes' Commission and other sporting organisations to share information and research.
The commission will be led by Justine Dupont of France, who has collected world medals across three ISA disciplines - shortboard, longboard and standup paddle.
The 26-year-old expressed her delight at being appointed chair of the commission.
“I am honored to accept the ISA’s invitation to chair the Athletes’ Commission," she said.
“As a long-time ISA competitor and professional surfer, I am looking forward to taking a leadership role where I can make positive change for the sport that I love.
“The commission will be diligent and thorough in making sure that we are passionately representing the vision and interests of all athletes of all genders, disciplines, and nationalities, to ensure that we continue the positive growth of surfing and on track to a great showing at Tokyo 2020.”
ISA vice-president and chair of the Association of National Olympic Committees Athletes' Commission Barbara Kendall, who won three Olympic sailing medals representing New Zealand, has been appointed ex officio of the commission.
South Africa's Dylan Lightfoot, Japan's Masatoshi Ohno, Denmark's Casper Steinfath, Peru's Miguel Tudela, New Zealand's Ella Williams and Alana Nichols of the United States make up the membership of the commission.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre said he looking forward to seeing the work of the commission.
“What an amazing group of high character people to represent the athletes of surfing, standup paddle, and all of their disciplines in the ISA,” he said.
“We are proud and honoured that these accomplished athletes have accepted to join our commission, which features gender equality and athletes from all continents of the globe.
“This group is a great representation of the inclusive nature of the sport of surfing.
“These athletes will play a vital role in the development and growth of surfing as we head into the final stages of preparation for surfing’s Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
“We will be heavily weighing these athletes’ advice and recommendations to take their interests into account when making high-level decisions.
“I welcome this great team to the ISA family and look forward working closely with them to promote the well-being and growth of surfing worldwide.”