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Wave Warriors Learn to Surf Programme Reaches Milestone

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The Surfing New Zealand Wave Warriors Learn to Surf Programme kicked off this week celebrating its tenth year of stoking out first-time surfers around our coastline.

Proudly supported by Foundation North, the programme begins with five weeks in Northland and Auckland catering to low decile schools from throughout both regions.

Wave Warriors focusses on surf safety education that is wrapped around the enjoyment and fun that surfing offers to youngsters that give it a go.  Lessons are delivered by qualified instructors making the sessions safe as well as following best practice to get everyone up and riding waves in the quickest time possible.

Year 8 and below students have been calling the experience the highlight of the year saying how much they love heading to the beach for some outdoor education with a difference.  Apprehension quickly turns to joy during the lessons as participants master standing up on a board for the first time.  Teachers echo their students responses after witnessing their determination to succeed in the water.

“The delight on the faces of all the students who attend the programme is truly inspiring, it reminds you why we all started surfing” says programme manager Lee Ryan.

“The valuable lessons around beach safety are so important for the attendees, they have these skills for life.  Combining those lessons with getting them up on boards and riding waves makes the day extremely memorable for them, they truly are blown away and stoked with what they achieve” added Ryan.

The Wave Warriors programme spends two weeks at Ahipara with concurrent lessons running at Te Arai before taking a break over the summer school holidays.  A final week of the programme will take place at Maori Bay in February.  Supported by Sport Waitakere, a further two weeks of the programme will roll out at Piha in February also.

Schools get bussed out to the beach and provided with all the equipment to take to the water.  After a theory session on land, the students hit the waves with instructors.  The qualified instructors are part of the accredited network of over thirty surf schools throughout the country.  These schools deliver tens of thousands of surf lessons annually, expediting the learning process beyond the traditional ‘give it a go myself’ approach commonly seen.

The Wave Warriors Learn to Surf Programme has been running since 2010 supported by Sport New Zealand’s Kiwi Sport initiative and more recently in Northland and Auckland with the support of Foundation North.  To date, approximately 400 school groups have taken part with over 10,000 students receiving surfing lessons.

For more information on the Wave Warriors Learn to Surf programme, please contact Lee Ryan on 0211160160 or email lee.ryan@surfingnz.co.nz.

The Wave Warriors Learn to Surf programme would not be possible without support from Foundation North, Water Safety New Zealand, SunSmart and Surfing New Zealand.

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