We’ve all enjoyed the benefit of the coaching delivered by St. Ives Surf School, and at the annual surf industry dinner in Newquay last weekend, Harris and his team were honoured to receive the national award of Inclusive Surf School of the Year for 2014. They were nominated by The Wave Project – the charity group who follow our juniors into the water on Saturday mornings with their own junior surfers and work with the surf school coaches to develop the skills and confidence of those children through their surfing. The school and the Wave Project have been working together for three successful years now, and have brought many youngsters through the scheme already.
With regard to the surf school’s work in the local community, Saints Boardriders and the Wave Project are only a part of what it offers! There are Ladies Nights in the early summer when the girls can share their own fun surfing sessions in the evening sunshine.The surf school has become a popular venue for kids birthday parties – a surf lesson and a picnic from the beach cafe releasing the parents from all the stress of entertaining the children!
It also provides tuition to an after-school surf club from one local school, and hosts an activities week for classes from another.In a new departure, the past summer saw the school entertaining a mixed- age group from a Camborne village with an all-day beach camp encompassing surfing, bodyboarding, volleyball, sand-castle building and an evening session rock-pooling for the younger children.
For nearly twenty years now, the school has been a much-loved activity for the Chernobyl Children who are brought to St. Ives from Belarus by a local charity each year for a holiday which also incorporates health checks, dental checks and dietary supplements to improves their life chances. This year’s group spent two days of their visit with the school, and they improvised an impromptu song in gratitude when it was time to leave.
The annual Fancy Dress Swellboard Shootout that the surf school organises has become an important attraction for the surfing community and draws a full complement of teams and a bumper crowd of spectators to Porthmeor on International Surfing Day. It has provided a good size annual donation to the funds of it’s regular charity Surfers Against Sewage for several years now.
We should also remember the Beach Surf Cinema which the Surf School springs on us once a year. It has been a summer evening treat recently, and unfailingly blessed by perfect weather!
Some, or all, of the above-mentioned examples of the St. Ives Surf School’s involvement in enabling participation in the sport must have been among the reasons why it was awarded the prize of Surf School Of The Year. It is richly deserved, and I for one am delighted that it’s here in our town on our beach. Well done Harris and his team!