Jamo Borthwick - International Surfing Development
We talk to Jamo Borthwick from ISD, dedicated to developing the sport of surfing and SUP throughout the world.
What is it that you love about surfing and the ocean? How did you start?
I love the ocean and the surf for its escape. It’s the place I go to get away from work and other things, to enjoy some time in the water and some “me time”. Share a moment with mates and just kick back and have fun. The ocean and surf are a really important part of my life. I don’t know how can people survive without living on the doorstep of our aquatic playground, life must be so boring!!
How did the International Surfing Development (ISD) started?
I began working with the ISA (International Surfing Association) running courses in various locations and ISD just evolved to be the umbrella under which I operate.
Who/ what has inspired you and the work you do?
I am inspired by what surfing can do for individuals, groups, communities, locations and countries and how surfing is so much more than just a sport. It can provide health, fitness, mental and social benefits, and also promote employment and financial growth. It can empower people and areas to progress and ripen positively.
Surfing can provide so many positive things. I am passionate about helping build and grow surfing, especially in developing countries, so that the industry flourishes in a sustainable, responsible, safe, structured and professional manner. This way everyone can benefit from the huge positive potential that this amazing sport offers.
From all the countries you have visited, which one is your favourite and why?
It is impossible to pick one or even a couple. I am extremely lucky to be able to travel to the places I go. One place I would definitely recommend people look into is India. I have a huge soft spot for this country and have a lot of very close Indian friends. It is somewhere I want to continue to travel to.
How is working with the International Surfing Association (ISA) like?
I am extremely lucky and grateful that I have the opportunity to work with the ISA and do what I do.
I am so very privileged to be able to learn from and be mentored by Alan Atkins, who has had a huge role in the development of surfing in Australia with Surfing Australia and throughout the world with the ISA. He is one of the most genuine, down to earth blokes I know. He has a great wealth of knowledge and experience, and I count myself very lucky that I have him and his wife Glenys as close friends and also as fantastic role models. I learn a lot from Alan and ask him for advice whenever I need it. He has definitely taken me under his wing!
What is your role in ISD?
I run ISA Surf and SUP instructor courses in various locations around the world. I also work with the national governing bodies to help give them ideas and advise and support in developing the sport.
What is it that you love about your job?
I love travelling and meeting new people. I love feeling like I can help build and develop our amazing industry in a new location or help direct it to further growth in established locations. I also have the opportunity to give others the chance to be able to benefit from what surfing has to offer – whether this is just as a sport or as a professional career. I am passionate about what I do and the opportunities that I see from the structuring and developing of surfing in a professional, sustainable way.
What’s your advice to someone thinking about getting a qualification in the surfing industry?
Get an ISA or Surfing Australia qualification, they are both are the only internationally recognised qualifications and are the ones that set the international standard.
Keep on learning and being open and willing to keep on learning. It is a dynamic industry and there will always be new things to take on board. Be open to enrich your knowledge from anyone as well. I love being able to nourish from people who are doing my courses. They might have never taught someone anything before but listening to their opinions and different point of view helps me a lot!
Don’t ever think you can only learn from people more experienced than yourself!
Always work to be the best you can be. Work hard to learn as much as you can and put the effort into reaching your potential.
What is the next step for ISD? What does the future hold for it?
Hopefully lots of exciting new challenges!
Where can we find you online?
Posted by: Marta Gallardo, on March 20, 2016
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