What we've been up to this month:

It’s October and here at The Wave Project our autumn surf courses are in full swing. We are running free surf therapy courses for 190 children across the country, as well as delivering our surf club for 400 active surf club members. 

Meanwhile, we have been involved in a move to form the first ever international network of surf therapy organisations. Meeting with partner projects in Cape Town, South Africa, two of our staff spent a week at the end of September forming the International Surf Therapy Organisation (ISTO. The motto of ISTO is, ‘Go far, go together.’ It means all of the 8 partner organisations, from four different continents, will promote the concept of ‘surf therapy’ by sharing evaluation, best practise and good ideas. The Wave Project is proud to be a founding member of this exciting initiative (see attached picture). 

Closer to home, we have now recruited a new project coordinator to spearhead our surf therapy programme in Brighton. We owe the existence of this project to Raise Your Hands members, who funded our pilot scheme last year and helped to establish our project in the city. Now we are ready to take it to the next level. Next year we will be working with 100 young people from Brighton and West Sussex, helping them improve their confidence and self esteem through surfing.

A film about the Wave Project, “Emersion” by Gabriella Zagni – which has been sent previously to RYH members – will have its first public showing at the London Surf Film Festival on 19-22 October at Regent Street Cinema following a public vote. 

We are also pleased to report an exciting development within adaptive surfing. Last month, we told you about Louis Sutton and Charlotte Weston, our two long-standing surf club members who took part in Surfing England’s Adaptive Surfing Open. Now they have both been selected for Surfing England’s Adaptive Team to compete in the ISA adaptive games in California in November! This is an amazing achievement for two young people who were both experiencing severe levels of anxiety and low self-esteem when they started with The Wave Project six years ago.  We are now waiting for the International Surfing Association (ISA) to confirm whether they are eligible for one of the competitions disability categories. Next stop, the Tokyo Olympics?