Victoria Pendleton CBE celebrates young surfer’s achievements at Wave Project Awards

The Wave Project’s annual awards night took place at The Headland Hotel on November 16.  The evening celebrated the incredible achievements of the young people, fundraisers, coaches and volunteers who have worked alongside us in the past year.

Guests and nominees were joined by former Olympic track cycling champion Victoria Pendleton CBE, model and free surfer Lucie Donlan as well as ambassadors Sophie Everard, Hannah Harding, Charlotte Banfield and Louis Sutton.

Speaking as she presented the evening’s awards, Miss Pendleton spoke about the importance of courage in life, she said: “courage is my favourite word because courage is not a thing that can be trained, or that you can be born with – it is something you find within yourself when you need it most.”

On the night, eight awards were presented to 28 nominees from all over the country.  They were chosen from over 2,000 participants, volunteers and surf coaches who have worked with the charity over the past year.

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Nominees included, Jo Moseley who became the first woman to paddle the breadth of Britain and raised £1500 for the charity along the way.  The award for Fundraisers of the Year was presented to Elsa White, a former surf therapy participant who overcame debilitating anxiety attacks to embark upon her fundraising challenge.

Best friends Jack Stanley 10 and Lennie Street, 7 from Scarborough jointly won our Surfer of the Year with a Disability award.   Jack’s mum explained; “once in the water, with the support of the truly amazing staff and volunteers, Jack became more alive than I’ve ever seen him.  His disability became redundant and he was just a typical kid learning to surf.”

Lewis Williams, 15, from Penzance was another winner on the night, scooping the Progress Award, an award bestowed to young people who have made significant strides in their home and school lives after taking part in The Wave Project’s surf therapy programme.  Lewis arrived at The Wage Project surf sessions as a very shy and underconfident young man and over time has grown into a very supportive and extremely reliable volunteer at his local project in St Ives.

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Sean Tucker, age 9 from Dunbar, won the charity’s prestigious courage award in recognition of his determination to surf despite having right sided paralysis.  Collecting the Award on the night Alison Young, said “this means so much to Sean, from being quite an apprehensive little boy he now absolutely throws himself into waves with no fear at all, he has shown us all true courage this year.”

Colin, Sean’s Dad said: ‘I’m extremely proud of Sean for receiving this award. Being part of The Wave Project has been such a positive experience for him. Thanks to Alison and all the amazing volunteers for making it happen!”