Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Dwight Sutherland, with Menelik Lewis and his brother, Ras Lewis. (GP)

Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Dwight Sutherland, has promised financial backing to two young Barbadian surfers, who are creating a big splash on the international scene.

They are nine-year-old Menelik Lewis and his 11-year-old brother, Ras Lewis. The two students of Milton Lynch Primary and Deighton Griffith Secondary, respectively, are the only Barbadians to win an international surfing competition in 2021.

They achieved this feat while competing in three competitions in Florida, United States, during the period August 1 to September 2, 2021.

The duo made it to the finals in three events of the 12 and under, and 14 and under competitions, respectively, with Menelik Lewis prevailing as winner of the 12 and under category.

Recently, the two surfing sensations and their father, Wayne Lewis, met with Minister Sutherland at his Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall office, where the Minister promised assistance to cover trips and accommodation associated with their competitions.

They expressed delight at having met with Minister Sutherland, saying they were very happy with the discussions. Mr. Sutherland asked them about their “favourite moves in surfing” and they told him that “aerial surfing and hitting the waves hard doing off the lips moves” are their specialties.

The two young Barbadians, who started surfing four years ago, after being given surfing boards by a friend, Matthew Kidd, were inspired by their father Wayne Lewis who loves the sport. Menelik and Ras Lewis started plying their skills at Southpoint, Bathsheba and the Drill Hall beaches.

This year, they are looking forward to embarking on a tour of either Europe or the United States, adding that their goal is to graduate from juniors to international pro-surfers. Menelik and Ras also have their eyes on making it to the Olympics or World Championships. In this regard, they are also seeking assistance from Corporate Barbados.

Menelik and Ras Lewis are also models and actors and have appeared in the September 2021 edition of one of the biggest fashion magazines in the world, “Dayze Fashion”, which also featured National Hero of Barbados, the Right Excellent, Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty.

The Lewis boys have also appeared in the movie “Outer Banks”, featured on Netflix.

Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment

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