The confident little surfer must have been completely oblivious to the fact that her pictures would soon go viral. Social media referred to her as the ‘nine-year-old Baloch girl who loves surfing’.

Venus Baloch is indeed nine-and-a-half years old but, unlike what was thought earlier, she does not belong to Pakistan. Venus hails from Chabahar, a city located at the Pakistan-Iran border. She has a few relatives in Pakistan because of which she has had the chance to visit Gwadar, Panjgur and Turbat in Balochistan.

Those pictures of her surfing were taken at Ramin Beach in Chabahar. But she says that the Gwadar beach seems really amazing for surfing, though she has not surfed there as yet and plans to do so in the future.

Venus is the youngest student at the Ocean Surf School in Iran. “I started surfing when I was eight,” Venus, who only speaks Balochi and Persian, tells Eos. “I still remember how it felt the first time. It was such an amazing feeling, moving above the water. I was a little scared initially, but it was all so exciting that my fear just vanished,” she says.

She may be rather new to surfing but her love for the sea is very old. “I love the sea. I have been accompanying my father to the beach from the time when I was a baby,” she adds.

The young surfer who’s gone viral in Pakistan

“Both my parents and uncle are fine surfers, so it was easy for me to get into it also,” she shares. Venus’s father has an international coaching certificate. He was also a fifth position holder, twice, in their national games. “We are like the pioneers of surfing in Iran. It’s been almost 10 years since we have been involved in surfing,” says Venus’s father Abdul Rehman Baloch, who runs the surfing school where his daughter is a student.

“Iran has changed a lot now. People often ask me about my wife and daughter being surfers, but the mindset here has changed a lot now and we are attracting more girls to surfing,” he says.

“Yes, women should cover themselves properly as there are restrictions regarding that here, and my wife is very careful about that. But as far as Venus is concerned she is still quite young. After a few years, she will have to wear a hijab costume while surfing. There is no restriction on women’s sports but the hijab is mandatory,” he explains.

Venus wants to be a world-class surfer when she grows up. “I have a good grip on my surfing. Soon, I will be applying for regional and national tournaments,” the little surfer shares some of her plans for the future.

Asked if she has even faced any dangers while surfing, she says that she was in danger of getting badly injured once, but luck was on her side that day. “Once while surfing, a huge broken wave, or white water as it is called, came towards me. All of a sudden it swallowed me and spun me around as if I were in a washing machine. It held me within itself. I tried getting back to the surface. I struggled a lot. Fortunately, I come up, but it was quite scary,” she says.

About her pictures going viral, she says. “I am so happy my pictures were noticed, because not many people know me but they do now. My surfing is making me famous!”

Published in Dawn, EOS, August 23rd, 2020

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