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The Inertia

In a lot of places around the world, surfing is a bit of a boys’ club. Sri Lanka is one of those places. “I thought only boys could surf,” says Shamali Sanjaya, President of the Arugam Surf Club, the first officially registered female surf club in Sri Lanka, “because I had never seen a woman surfing.”

It wasn’t the easiest of roads to travel, though—she faced a lot of opposition when she wanted to start the club. “In the beginning, women faced issues while trying to start surfing,” Sanjaya explained. “However, we faced those issues and now we’re in the position to have our own club.”

The club quickly gained steam, and as more women joined up, something wonderful happened: females surfing became more accepted—the way it should be. Now, she’s got big dreams for the future. “I think our daughters will be able to enter surf competitions,” she says, “and I hope maybe even enter the Olympics one day.”

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