By Rosie Foley
Ayesha Garvey is a third-year physiotherapy student and has just been named in Ireland’s surfing team for the European Championships in Portugal and World Championships in Japan this year.
Growing up on the west coast of Ireland, the sea was never far-away, and surfing was in Ayesha’s blood.
‘I am super lucky to have been brought up and introduced to the surfing world by my family.
From since I can remember I was comfortable with chilling on the board in the waves at our local beach, Rossnowlagh.’
Rossnowlagh beach is just south of Donegal and it is a perfect place for beginner surfers.
From a young age Ayesha began competing in Surfing competitions.
‘My first competitions began with entering into the ‘expression sessions’ for under 10’s at the Junior Irish Surfing Nationals. That would include jumping on the board, doing handstands and creative things on the board.’
Ayesha competed for her country at a junior level in the European Surfing Championships which enabled her to travel, but ‘never forgetting’ a core aspect of surfing.
‘The importance of never forgetting the true meaning of competing alongside your peers and often best friends has been ingrained in me from a young age’.
This ethos has helped motivate Ayesha to ‘train hard’ and perform to the best of her ability. This hard work has now paid off as she has been selected for the European and World Championships.
‘There is nothing better than having earned the privilege to wave your national flag and represent your country when competing at an International Championships.
I am delighted that my hard work and training has got me this far.’
Ayesha will not stop the grind as she is ‘ready for the real work’ to begin, but she reflects that this will still be an enjoyable experience.
‘Having the opportunity to travel to Portugal for the Europeans and Japan for the World’s and to compete alongside some of the best surfers in the world is a very exciting prospect and I can’t wait to be a part of it!’
Whilst being at Cardiff University, Ayesha has been included within its HPP programme and this has helped her massively as well as her ‘surfing family’ and the glorious welsh coastline.
‘The HPP has been an incredible support to me since day one. They have shown a genuine interest in my sporting career and have provided me with many networks to ensure I am motivated and supported to achieve all I can alongside studying and developing within my physiotherapy degree.
I have been blessed with an amazing surfing family who inspire each other to develop, spread the passion for and enjoy all the aspect of surfing. We are extremely lucky to have the beautiful welsh coastline right at our doorstep which provides us with a vast array of options for waves.’
Ayesha will continue to train hard alongside completing her Physiotherapy degree leading up to the European and World Championships later this year.