By Krissy Gram
ABOVE: Another day “at the office…” PHOTO BY KRISSY GRAM
In October, a group of us from Flourish Australia’s Buckingham House in Surry Hills went over to Bondi Beach for a surf! RecLink lined it up and so it was free for participants (thanks RecLink!). Conditions were great for learning, and it was a fun and successful day. We’ll be keen to arrange another surfing day in coming months.
Participant Cheryl Tang said: ‘I’d been meaning to get around to going for a surfing lesson, but I never acted on my idea until the opportunity arose with the Buckingham House outing to Let’s Go Surfing at Bondi beach. I had fun riding the waves in the surging rush of the ocean. Even though I tired out really easily and had to rest, I was happy to have been a part of the action. I look forwards to going again.’ By the way, Cheryl had a story in December 2018 Panorama!
We had a couple of ‘try surfing’ days in October 2017 as well and some of the people were back for more in the Spring just past.
We were so pleased to be in the ocean. One of the participants commented on how therapeutic it was. This lady had a few tries at catching the waves and riding them in before ditching the board and enjoying the clear water. They found the paddling exhausting. The guys from Mission Australia (Jimmy Keefe and Josh Paton) were the best at getting up on the board which can be a bit tricky to master!
‘Let’s Go Surfing’ provided the coaches and RecLink covered the bill for our session.
The boards were provided by ‘Let’s Go Surfing.’ So were the wetsuits, which was great as even in November the ocean was still only about 19 or 20 degrees! On the other hand, as it was about 24 degrees outside the water, we got rather hot listening to the theory before jumping into the blue!
The waves were small and the water was glassy at the North end of Bondi, perfect for learners who need to catch the white wash and work their way up to paddling onto a wave.
Most everyone was happy to either just catch the wave on the 8’6” board and ride it like a boogie board and a few tried to “pop” up to stand- which was rather wobbly for most!!
RecLink Australia, which sponsored Buck House, provides and promotes over 10,000 sport, recreation and arts activities involving 95,000 participation opportunities to disadvantaged communities throughout Australia each year.
‘They work in partnership with community organisations like Flourish Australia to ensure that a diverse range of activities are accessible for Australians experiencing disadvantage.’
Let’s Go Surfing
Let’s Go Surfing runs lessons and events at Bondi, Maroubra and Byron Bay. They have everything from one off lessons for beginners to six week courses for people who want to take it further. They also hold group sessions and ‘Board Meetings’ as they call their corporate events!
Additional reporting by Grant J Everett
ABOVE: Cheryl Tang of Buck House; Jimmy Keefe and Josh Paton of Mission Australia; Mark Wastie and Krissy Gram of Buck House PHOTO BY KRISSY GRAM