The mother of the National Champion in the Shortboard category, Nafeesa remembers the day her son, Hoodh Ahmed was born. Born at sea, in a little boat while it was en route, she couldn’t have known her son would grow up to be a man of the ocean.
Hoodh grew up to love the ocean. His namesake rose to prominence among surfers. He developed a passion for the sport as a child, shaping the person he is today. He became a champion of the ocean sport that revolved around his life.
A native of Gaafu Dhaalu Gadhdhoo, Hoodh started surfing just for the fun of it. However a visiting tourist saw the potential in Hoodh and advised to take it up as a serious sport.
‘ I lived close to the beach in Gadhdhoo, other surf enthusiasts also passed by my house to go to the beach and surf. We used to take wooden planks as we didn’t have proper boards’.
Initially Hoodh wasn’t convinced that he could take up surfing as a sport. But the words of encouragement from the tourist propelled him to take up his love for surfing to a more intermediate level.
He went on to become a National Team Player in Surfing, and a champion of the National tournament. That was the first big win he had in his career of surfing.
Few athletes have the chance to embrace sport as an income generator. It is especially considered less for a surfer. However Hoodh did not let that general perception take hold of his fate.
‘ Not many people believe that surfing could be a means of getting by in life. Not many believe that through surfing as a job, they could still earn and save for a rainy day. But looking at my life, I am doing all that and more, working as a surf guide for an international surfing company’, the surf guide for the Maldives under multinational World Safaris group of Australia, said.
Society did not believe in surfing as a sport, even his parents at first did not. However, Hoodh believes that slowly, as surfing gains popularity among young people and, as an added bonus, is recognised internationally in the Maldives, attitudes toward the sport are changing for the better.
When asked for his advice for aspiring surfers, Hoodh’s stance was, as long as the person has a passion for it, just like he does, surfing will be a sport that can be made a career of. It is a sport that deserves the respect equivalent to any other sport worldwide and to not let people’s opinions get in the way of becoming a professional surfer.