Before we can even think about surfing, we need to get comfortable with being surrounded by water. Water and especially waves can be super scary if you do not know how to swim. As a result of that in the first lessons, we teach how to swim.
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela always finds the right words to inspire us. Just as he said: “It’s all about not giving up but rather keep trying until you make it.” This is what you learn for life when you learn how to surf: To not give up. There is always another wave, another day, another try. The feeling of success, the feeling of riding a wave as if it were yours, staying in control of the board and your body – there is nothing like it.
In 2021 a new group of kids has started at Coach Thomas Youth Development as you can see in the pictures above. South Africa is a very young country when you look at the numbers. In 2020 almost 30% of our population was 14 and younger. These young people face alcohol/drug abuse and violence in every community. We, as a society, are not doing enough to ensure a safe environment for all our young ones to grow up in. We at CTYD stopped looking away and started acting a long time ago in teaching them soccer and surfing to get them off the streets. And again, Nelson Mandela is our source of inspiration:
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”