Filipino surfer receives international recognition

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The Comité International du Fair-Play (CIFP) named Filipino surfer Roger Casugay as the recipient of the Pierre de Coubertin Act of Fair Play Award for his courageous act during the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games last year.

The 26-year-old native from San Fernando City, La Union wowed the Southeast Asian surfing committee when he gave up what was a commanding lead in his surfing race against Indonesian opponent Arip Nurdihayat and saved the latter from drowning amid the strong waves brought about by Typhoon Tisoy, which just exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility that time.

Casugay’s act of kindness garnered commendations from various people, including no less than Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Casugay’s huge save reached the International Surfing Association (ISA), the global governing body for the sport, and its membership and development manager, Alex Reynolds, informed the United Philippine Surfing Association (UPSA) on Tuesday that Casugay will be given the Fair Play award by the CIFP.

“It is nice to recognize an athlete not only for his athletic skills but also for his humanity,” said UPSA president Raul Canlas.

“Holding surfing during the Southeast Asian Games is a milestone event. It paved the way for the ISA to recognize the region and allowed Roger to be also recognized.”

“We are very proud of Roger because he has truly exemplified the true meaning of being a Filipino and a sportsman,” added Butch Ramirez, the chef de mission of the Philippine team in last year’s SEA Games. “Eight months after the games, we are still feeling the pride that our national athletes achieved for the Filipino people. Truly, sports is an advocacy that keeps on giving.”

Casugay, one of the country’s 149 SEA Games gold winners, will receive the award on October 27.

Due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, he has an option to take it virtually instead of flying to Monaco to receive it in person.*PNA

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