Rid­ing a wave of change

Stirling Times - - News - FIRST RE­PORTED AT Com­mu­ni­tynews .com.au Belinda Cipri­ano

A GROUP of WA surfers is chang­ing the lives of chil­dren with autism, one wave at a time.

Ocean He­roes founder and di­rec­tor Luke Hal­lam, along with Sam Moyle (di­rec­tor), Tom John­ston (di­rec­tor), Steph Hud­son (beach co-or­di­na­tor) and Ja­son Vi­vian, ear­lier this year fundraised to bring the con­cept from an Amer­i­can group do­ing a sim­i­lar thing.

Mr Hal­lam said as a per­sonal trainer he had worked with many chil­dren with autism, yet none had ever tried or had the op­por­tu­nity to go surf­ing.

This made him and his friends want to start the not­for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion in Perth.

“We fundraised to bring these guys out and we had an event with 200 kids at Trigg,” Mr Hal­lam said.

“Af­ter that event Tom, Sam and I got to­gether to start Ocean He­roes.

“In May we held our first event, our sec­ond in Septem­ber and our last event was at Brighton Beach ear­lier this month.

“We had 75 kids and it went off; it was the most per­fect day.”

The 26-year-old said since the or­gan­i­sa­tion started he had seen many changes in the chil­dren tak­ing up surf­ing with par­ents thrilled with the re­sults.

“It varies from kid to kid just like autism; we’ve had kids who have come surf­ing and when they go to school they are changed kids and want to do ev­ery­thing new,” he said.

“You get some kids who are pretty scared but that’s what we are there for, to hold their hands and guide them.

“We try to ex­plain to them that this is one of many things they can do and we break down bound­aries for them.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d462282

Ocean He­roes di­rec­tors Luke Hal­lam and Sam Moyle.

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