A CWMBRAN teen with Cerebral Palsy has set his sights on the Paralympics after competing in his second World Para Surfing Championships.

Ethan Jolosa, 15, was diagnosed with Spastic Diplegic Cerebral Palsy at around 18 months after being born nine weeks early and weighing just 4lbs.

After three major operations - which the Argus campaigned to help raise the £40,000 for - Ethan discovered a love for adaptive surfing, and at the age of 13 travelled to California to take part in the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Adapted Surfing Championships.

Two years later, Ethan returned to California this March for the competition, where he reached the second round.


“It was really good, it was one of the most fun competitions I’ve been to,” he said. “I didn’t do as well this year, but I’ve been training and training to get a decent ranking going forward.

“I was up against some really good adaptive surfers. That is the standard I need to get to.”

“There was double the number of competitors this year,” said mum Leah Jolosa. “It was a really good trip and he learned a lot from talking to the other athletes and competing against the best of the best.

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The Welsh team at the opening ceremony at the ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championships 2020 in California Picture: Leah Jolosa.

“Ethan had the world champion in his heat and he was one of the youngest there. He’s only 15 and has been surfing for about three years while he’s up against people who have been surfing all their lives.”

Ethan has set himself the target of winning a major competition when they are up and running again, but in the long term, he is targeting a bigger prize.

“I normally finish in the top four in the Welsh and English championships, so I am hoping to push on and finish first or second,” he said. “I know I am one of the youngest competitors but I have trained so hard and if I do get it, it will prove a lot.

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Ethan Jolosa at the Welsh Adaptive Championships at Surf Snowdonia. Picture: Leah Jolosa.

“I will also be getting a new custom board soon, so I will be able to show what I can do.

“The 2024 or 2028 Paralympics is the ultimate goal. I’ll be in my 20s then so I have so much more time.

“I need to take my time and relax. I’ve only been surfing for about three years and I’ve come so far.

“At the moment it’s a hobby, but I’m hoping it will be my life.”

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Ethan Jolosa with Sam Evans and Shauna Guinn on The Big Cook Out. Picture: Leah Jolosa.

During lockdown, Ethan has been helping key stage two pupils with their online PSHE lessons by taking part in a BBC Teaching video.

In the video, Ethan explains the importance determination and learning new skills and how that has helped him with his surfing.

He also featured on Sam and Shauna's Big Cook Out when they visited his surfing club, Surfability UK, and also took part in a ramble for Children in Need with Matt Baker.

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Ethan Jolosa and Matt Baker on a Children in Need Ramble. Picture: Leah Jolosa.

“We’d like to thank everyone for the support we’ve had,” said Ms Jolosa. “Ethan’s been inundated with messages of support from the community.

“People here still recognise him from the fundraiser for the operation to help him walk and ask how he is doing.”