Surf Club Outreach Portfolio: Using sport to help others

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by Mia McCarthy

For the last year, UCT Surf Club’s Outreach Portfolio has been working closely with a Muizenburg-based NGO called Surf Outreach. The Surf Outreach programme, in their own words, “strives to offer young people a safe and supportive environment in which to take control of their lives and their futures.” Surf Outreach typically enlists children as young as six and as old as nineteen from the nearby settlements of Lavender and Capricorn into their programme, teaching the kids how to surf and instilling in them the foundations for a strong self-esteem. Surf Outreach also facilitates their participation in competitive surfing events, quality surf skills development, and educational opportunities through volunteer-based work.

This is where UCT Surf Club comes in! Every Friday, we supply volunteers to the Surf Outreach centre to construct and participate in our own enrichment programme. No previous teaching/volunteer experience is required for one to join. Our ideal volunteer is one with an enthusiastic attitude, and a taste for adventure. Please note that we do not teach the kids how to surf – they are already very skilled surfers! In fact, some of the boys at Surf Outreach just bagged a win at the Billabong Grom games. You do not need to have any knowledge of surfing to participate in our programme, although if you ask the kids for some pointers, they will be happy to oblige.

Although our programme features an agenda for academic development, it is by no means a homework programme. One of our more recent creative project featured Surf Club member and entrepreneur, Catherine Anderson, owner of Sea Stones Jewellery, who taught the kids how to make necklaces and bracelets. On another occasion, we held a beach yoga session at Surf Outreach for the kids and our volunteers in the interest of improving muscle flexibility and mental health.

So, if you think you’re up to the task of enriching young lives and sharing ‘the stoke,’ contact Mia McCarthy via miainza@gmail.com or Jemma Lewis via jemmaelewis@gmail.com to join our ranks. Lastly, be sure to check out Surf Outreach on Facebook and UCT Surf Club on Facebook and Instagram!

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