Solamon Bailey, best known as Soli, will become the first professional surfer to wear the Aboriginal flag on his sleeve when he hits the international stage during the WSL (World Surf League) Championship Tour.
Hailing from Byron Bay, this will be Bailey’s first year on the Championship Tour after qualifying in Hawaii back in 2018. The 23-year-old will wear the flag on his right sleeve with the Australian flag on his left.
The jerseys, which are also numbered, are used to identify surfers when they’re way out on the water. Bailey will wear No. 44.
“As much as I was super excited to represent Australia and what we stand for, it was also an opportunity for me to show some love, and show a bit of culture,” Bailey told the ABC of his jersey.
“I am part of the Yaegl people which consisted of [people] from Maclean, right through to Coffs Harbour, and that is Bundjalung Country.”
On Instagram, Bailey shared a series of photos showing off his new jersey and wrote that he was “incredibly honoured and proud to wear my Indigenous heritage on my sleeve.”
He also thanked WSL for their support, adding “it really means a lot”.
World Surf League’s Will Hayden-Smith told the ABC that they were “proud to see surfers honouring their heritage.”
“We see it is a small thing we can do to allow him to showcase what he’s proud of.”
The Men’s and Women’s Championship Tour will kick off in April.
You can learn more about the World Surf League, HERE.