You might think it’s all restocking the shop, repainting the walls or surfing winter bombs while we’re in the low season. True, but did you know we’re an Academy of Surf Instructors (ASI) training centre of excellence? So, during the off season we run training courses for ASI Surf Instructors and an induction course for the Wave Project Charity.
The Wave Project
Is a registered charity that runs therapeutic surf courses for young people aged between 8-21 years old who are socially isolated. This can be through mental health issues, isolation, family problems, disability or traumatic experiences. The surf projects are designed to help improve self-confidence, resilience and motivation. What’s not to like?
For the last 4 years Gwithian Academy of Surfing has worked with the Wave Project to provide training to the their volunteer surf mentors – the guys and girls who help them run surf therapy sessions throughout the season. We are also happy to continue this year as one of their surf providers running the surf sessions and a surf club for their clients.
The volunteer induction course ran on Saturday 25th March and was a great success. There were 12 volunteers who all coped extremely well in challenging surf conditions and they did remarkably well considering.
They learned skills such as: Handling equipment safely with the Wave Project clients, surf safety hazards, emergency signals, how a surf session with clients normally operates and correct technique for assisting clients to catch waves, some of which are disabled. They learned how to identify and overcome specific challenges when working with clients; from coping with extremely anxious young adults to keeping others calm and happy whilst they wait to go surfing.
Manager at GAS, Ian Gabbitas says: “The volunteers did brilliantly considering the windy conditions out there. The Wave Project is such a great cause, we have lots of kids come here who are anxious and withdrawn and really benefit from getting in the water and learning to surf. It’s great to see their beaming faces after each session, that’s what it’s all about!”
Joe Taylor, CEO of The Wave Project says: “We’ve been working with GAS for the last four years and have a really great working relationship with them. The training course is invaluable to our volunteer surf mentors because of the knowledge and skills they gain from it.”
Gwithian Academy of Surfing is running surf courses for The Wave Project each Sunday 11-1pm and 2-4pm from 23 April-28th May 2017.
We also run surf clinics, ASI Surf Instructor courses, daily surf lessons – private or group lessons, surf tours, junior surf club, board hire, Stand Up Paddle lessons and hire, Surf Yoga breaks and more.