Stéphanie Mahuk during VASANOC AGM. Photo: VASANOC

Stephanie Mahuk is the new Vanuatu Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (VASANOC) board member.

Ms Mahuk is the President of the Vanuatu Surfing Association (VSA) and holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics. She works as the Senior Associate lawyer at Geoffrey Gee & Partners.

She is no stranger to the VASANOC family. Her mother, Mary Estelle Kapalu is the “golden mama” of Vanuatu so sports and sports administration has been a feature in her life. Instead of taking to the tracks like her mother, her affinity to the ocean led her to surfing.

She strongly believes that sporting platforms are a positive agent for change which is reflected in the Vanuatu Surfing Association’s programs such as Solwota Sista which she co-founded for advocacy and empowerment of women and young girls through participation in surfing.

The VSA have strong environmental programs which includes a coral garden to restore the reefs in surfing areas and they monitor their surfing reefs to conserve and preserve its eco-system which forms what is the surfer’s sporting field.

The Association is based in Pango Village, Efate with satellite surfing villages of Eratap, Pele and Nguna. It has in the past few years expanded its outreach programs to Villages around Vanuatu that have accessible and surfable waves. These villages are often remote and span from Vanua Lava in the Banks group to Maewo, South Pentecost, Epi, and South East Tanna.

“I volunteer whole-heartedly with the Surfing Association despite the geographical challenges of spreading the stoke of surfing in Vanuatu because these are outweighed by the rewards of introduction of a new sport and healthy outlet for youth which the Association uses as a vehicle for awareness of social and environmental issues to influence positive holistic change in communities.”