In recognition of a sport which is not yet a popular activity in India, former India tennis star Somdev Devvarman put his weight behind surfing on Thursday predicted a bright future for the new Olympic sport in India. Also Read - Great Opportunity For Our Players to Build Relationships in Pakistan: Somdev Devvarman

Devvarman Somdev won the gold medal in the men’s singles event of XIXth Commonwealth Games 2010 at the R.K. Khanna Tennis Stadium in New Delhi, and he followed it up with both men’s singles and doubles gold in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. Also Read - President Ram Nath Kovind Hosts 'At Home' Party in Residence, Several Dignitaries Including Sania Mirza Attends Function

Speaking at the official launch ceremony of the sixth Covelong Point Surf, Music & Yoga festival, which will run for three days, Somdev revealed that he had been an avid surfer himself. Also Read - Somdev backs new ATP ranking system

The festival will see close to 170 wave riders from 10 nations compete for top honours, including defending champions in both the Men’s and Women’s categories, namely Raghul Paneerselvam and Suhasini Damian respectively.

At the media event, Somdev said: “I never used to swim before but in the last 2-3 years I am just hooked to surfing.”

“As an athlete it is amazing to see surfing pick up as a sport. Surfing is potentially one of the more popular sports across many parts of the world and it’s heartening to see the sport pick up in India.”

Somdev said that the sport is now going to be a part of the Olympics and it was great to see many Indian youngsters taking up surfing as it’s from here that the country might have it’s future Olympians.

(WITH IANS INPUTS)