South Devon Sunshine, Smiles and even Pirates

South Devon Spring

I wanted to give you an update and some personal thanks.
With week 5 complete we are on to the last week of our first two courses. This weekend saw wall-to-wall sunshine and smiles. With low pressure and small fun waves we saw our young people catch their first waves and standing up. Loads of board runs, raft building, games and lots of splashing about. At Goodrington we heard the cannons firing from Brixham Pirate Festival and after a double session from one of our new fantastic volunteers for the fifth week in a row it was only fair that I took her to investigate and search for Pirates!

It’s great to be able to build on the work of the previous coordinators, Hannah, Ben and Carla. As a volunteer I have seen a glimpse of what all of them did at a beach level. You modelled the project into what it is now and Carla it’s a real treat to build on this in your short absence.

Since 2015 we have been working with, Discovery Surf School. The fantastic team at Discovery supporting our volunteer team have enabled us to have brilliant course sessions and a great first surf club. Martin and Anika I can’t thank you enough for helping us get everything into place for this season. It’s been a dream. Your team in the shop of Harry, Grace and even Zeb on this busy bank holiday sizing up and keep us all warm/protected from the blistering sun have welcomed our young people and volunteers with smiles and warmth which put them at ease straight away. Dave and Harry you are both marvellous and so different in styles that you work so well with our young people. Max, your session this weekend with minimal swell (and run in Dave’s absence) ran just as smoothly as always and was so fun.

Our first sea based surf club session was ace the conditions couldn’t have been better. We saw new and old club faces and their families come down to the beach. With our second session this weekend for those who have signed up we can’t wait to get you back in the water and see what fun we can build on from your previous Wave Project courses and club sessions in 2017.

Thank you also to Reach Outdoors who have been incredible with their professionalism and amazing team of instructors. We have been inundated with local referrals which shows the local need for such a project. Rachel thank you for your support in getting everything in place. Yourself Ash and Rich have an incredible set up and it is great to have The Wave Project running from the shores of Torbay. Danny, our Lead coach, and your team are awesome. The smiles and support you have given our surfers and volunteers has been of the highest quality and your laid back style puts us all at ease.

Now to our volunteers who have helped in and out of the water since the 8th April.

Martin, Rebecca, Isobel, Gary, Josh, Kathryn, Laura, James, Drew, Verity, Darren, Hayley, Anna, Tamzin, Jallal, Emily, Samantha, Phil, George, Victoria, Ben, Tilly, Iris, Jo, Ted, Molly, Ella, Louis, Bella, Henry, Liam, Joseph, Clara, Jacob, Becky, Karen, Hannah, Claire, Jake, Liz

I really hope I haven’t missed out any names.

To our new volunteers thank you for bringing fresh energy and to our old hands thank you for your experience and knowledge and support. Lead volunteers you have stepped up and supported me and lead sessions in my absence with complete ease! Thank you.

Parents and Guardians! You lot are heros day-in and day-out. You are supporting a marvellous group of young people and it such a pleasure to meet them all. You have stood through freezing cold and mega hot conditions over the last five weeks. What a great group of young people we have in South Devon!

May they continue to love the beaches and the sea and allow us all to hang out at Surf Club. 
In fundraising, we have seen Jack, Joe and Lois run a half marathon in speedy times! This month James is running the ocean half – again in aid of The Wave Project, here is a link to a little piece about what he is doing.

We are also a finalist for this years Devon Sports Awards awards in the category of ‘Contribution to Inclusive Sport’ which is a massive achievement. The North Devon Project has been up and running in Croyde since 2013 and South Devon since 2015. This nomination is for every person who has supported the projects across the county. We will keep you posted and let you know how we get on after the awards night in June.

Lots of our volunteers have been nominated by parents for the work they have done. I want to thank you all, and for those who have got to the final stages of nomination rounds at the Plymouth University Volunteer Awards, Torbay Sports Awards and Devon Sports Awards. Congratulations.

I can’t thank the team in Head Office enough mostly for being a sounding board and listening when I have needed an ear.

It’s so great to be surrounded by such a passionate, wonderful community which continues to grow in South Devon! Here’s to an amazing Wave project Sumer 2018!

 

Photo credits : Bella Photos, Reach Outdoors, K Luscombe, K Smith