Update Spring Courses 2018

Why I Loved My First Time Volunteering For The South Devon Wave Project

by Tamzin Grebot

I promised to keep you updated on my journey so here goes…

The time had come for my first volunteering session with The South Devon Wave Project. With my car out of action, I jumped in for a ride with Katie Smith and 4 other volunteers. We arrived at Bigbury (pictured below) where the morning surf session was to take place.

Although it wasn’t the bahamas sunshine we would have liked, the waves were perfect and our wetsuits kept us warm.

Bigbuy beach view from the carpark.

On arrival I was introduced to everyone and paired up with a young volunteer called Kathryn for some support during my first session. The lovely guys at The Discovery Surf School found the perfect wetsuit, shoes and gloves for me and I got all dressed up with my wave project rash vest on top.

Between myself, Kathryn and our young person we carried the 6 4″ surf board down to the beach trying not to get blown away. The instructors, Dave & Harry, started with a quick recall of the parts on a surf board, the movements to make when catching a wave and some safety tips. By this point we were all excited but a little cold so the team warmed up with some stretches and a quick beach sprint.

The time came to get into the water and I must admit, I wasn’t too excited at this point, I was dreading the cold but we all decided to stick together and take the ‘just run in quickly’ method. Unsurprisingly the winter wetsuits were perfect and it wasn’t too cold.

We remembered our training and began paddling out to the waves, for the next 2.5 hours we laughed and smiled while working together to help our young person catch the biggest waves. I took some time out every now and then to look around at the rest of the group. It was amazing to see all the happy children, they all tried their best as did the volunteers. The volunteers were so accommodating and ensured each child had the help they needed, felt comfortable for the entire session and had some time out too.

Kathryn was an awesome volunteer to be paired with, it was only her second session volunteering but she already had an amazing bond with the young person. She had confidence in the water and was really enthusiastic about pushing everyone to catch the most waves.

When talking with the young girl we helped out it was clear to see how much she enjoyed the session.

She wanted to tell the world about the waves she caught and was super excited to show her friends and family some pictures and videos of her surfing. Every child left the water with smiles from ear to ear and that’s what The South Devon Wave Project is all about. Helping those young people to take time out to enjoy themselves.

As the session came to a close we all retreated to the surf school where we wrapped up in our warm, dry clothes. As an extra special treat, Katheryn had baked some delicious cupcakes for us all (she has her own business page that you should check out).

The session flew by, I am so glad that I used my Sunday morning productively for a change. I am so excited to get back in the water and help the young people progress even further with their surfing skills next week. I’ll keep you all updated on my Wave Project volunteer journey, if you have any question or want to get involved then give me a shout and i’ll point you in the right direction!


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