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ISTO Conference

6th Oct 20218:00 am - 8th Oct 20215:00 pm

We are stoked to be hosting the ISTO conference this year!

Taking place at the Bedruthan Steps Hotel in Watergate Bay, the three-day programme of inspiring sessions focused on surf therapy will include panel discussions, workshops, and outdoor activities – all open to the public, and anyone with an interest in the positive benefits of surfing is warmly invited to register for tickets.

Speakers include Dr Carrie Allison and renowned clinical psychologist, Professor Sir Simon Baron-Cohen, from the University of Cambridge’s Autism Research Centre in Cambridge, who will present their ideas for a randomized control trial of surf therapy for autistic young people, alongside environmental psychologist, Dr Hannah Devine-Wright, University of Exeter.

Highlights include:

  • Experts from the University of Cambridge’s Autism Research Centre to lead speaker line up at public event in Watergate Bay
  • Three-day programme leading up to World Mental Health Day on 10th October includes inspiring discussions, workshops, and outdoor activities
  • General public invited to join – tickets available
  • Former Devon and Cornwall police sergeants James Mallows & Sam Davis, Founders of SurfWell, will talk about the use of surf therapy to address the escalating mental health crisis in the UK emergency services.
  • Hugo Tagholm, CEO of the national marine conservation and campaigning charitySurfers Against Sewage (SAS).
  • Surf therapist and Founder of the surftherapie.nl foundation Tjs Van Beizjle will discuss the remarkable impact of surf therapy on those in rehabilitation following intensive care.
  • A dedicated panel will convene to discuss how surf therapy can be used to build trust with transgender people.
  • Founder and CEO of The Wave Project Joe Taylor and Executive Director of ISTO Kris Primacio will discuss the future of surf therapy globally, and advocate for greater use across Europe.

Bringing together changemakers in surf therapy from the UK and Europe, including pro surfers, scientists, researchers, non-profit organizations, policymakers, and volunteers — discussions will focus on the theme of Building Trust.

ISTO was founded in 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa, by 8-surf therapy programs worldwide. Today ISTO has 90-members from 6-continents, who all use surf therapy to treat conditions like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and trauma. 

It will be the first time the organisation has met in Europe, with previous conferences held in California and South Africa.

Kris Primacio, Executive Director of ISTO, said: “We are thrilled to have our first ISTO Conference in the UK hosted by The Wave Project; collaboration gives us the ability to reach a broader audience. By expanding venues, we fulfill our mantra that ‘we go farther together!’ It’s a tremendous opportunity to advance our common efforts and explore new ways of promoting surf therapy as an alternative form of treatment. Collectively, we have the power to make meaningful change.”

For tickets and further information, click here!


6th Oct 2021 8:00 am
8th Oct 2021 5:00 pm
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