NPO no­mi­na­ted for SA Sports A­ward

Mossel Bay Advertiser - - Voorblad - Lin­da S­parg

Be­si­des te­a­ching them to surf, vo­lun­teers help them with their ho­me­work and food is pro­vi­ded.

The Sur­fer Kids, a Mos­sel Bay non-pro­fit or­ga­ni­sa­ti­on, has been no­mi­na­ted for an SA Sports A­ward in the ca­te­go­ry, Re­cre­a­ti­on Bo­dy of the Y­e­ar.

The no­mi­nees we­re an­noun­ced on 19 Oc­to­ber on the Mor­ning Li­ve Show on SABC2.

The ge­ne­ral ma­na­ger of Sur­fing South A­fri­ca, Ro­bin de Kock, no­mi­na­ted The Sur­fer Kids in re­cog­ni­ti­on of the "gro­wth and success a­chie­ved by the or­ga­ni­sa­ti­on sin­ce its in­cep­ti­on in 2010".

It is ba­sed per­ma­nent­ly at Di­as Be­ach and its ob­jecti­ve is to “em­po­wer mar­gi­na­li­sed youth through sur­fing”. The be­ne­fi­ci­a­ries are child­ren from the poor­est com­mu­ni­ties in Mos­sel Bay.

The Sur­fer Kids tru­ly goes the ex­tra mi­le for child­ren. Be­si­des te­a­ching them to surf, vo­lun­teers help them with their ho­me­work and food is pro­vi­ded.

The ot­her two no­mi­nees in the Re­cre­a­ti­on Bo­dy of the Y­e­ar ca­te­go­ry are M­be­kwe­ni Com­mu­ni­ty S­port and Ma­vu S­port De­ve­lop­ment.

The SA Sports A­wards ha­ve a ran­ge of ca­te­go­ries in­clu­ding in­di­vi­du­al ma­le and fe­ma­le sports­men and wo­men; sports­men and wo­men with di­sa­bi­li­ties; na­ti­o­nal spor­ting fe­de­ra­ti­ons; s­chools; in­di­ge­nous ga­mes; spor­ting le­gends and mem­bers of the sports me­dia.

The 800m wor­ld cham­pi­on Cas­ter Se­me­nya, Pro­te­as fast bo­w­ler Ka­gi­so Ra­ba­da and boxer Hek­kie Bud­ler will vie for the SA Sports S­tar of the Y­e­ar a­ward. In the S­ports­man of

the Y­e­ar ca­te­go­ry, al­ongs­i­de, Hek­kie Bud­ler, is the four-ti­me O­lym­pic me­dal­list C­had Le Clos and long jump s­tar Lu­vo Ma­nyon­ga.

The Te­am of the Y­e­ar ca­te­go­ry no­mi­nees are the B­lit­z­boks, Li­ons rug­by te­am and the 2018 Cos­a­fa Wo­men's cham­pi­ons Ba­ny­a­na Ba­ny­a­na.

The pu­blic can vo­te for the Pe­op­le’s C­hoi­ce Sports S­tar of the Y­e­ar by vi­si­ting www. saspor­ta­wards.co.za.

The fi­nal win­ners will be an­noun­ced at the SA Sports A­wards in Man­gaung, F­ree Sta­te, on 11 No­vem­ber.

The Sur­fer Kids foun­der and chair­man Her­mann Vi­viers says: "Our pro­gram­me o­pe­ra­tes from Tu­es­day until Sa­tur­day. Child­ren co­me from the towns­hips - I­sinyo­ka, I­san­za­ne, Fai­r­view - col­lecti­ve­ly kno­wn as JCC Camp.

"They walk to Di­as Be­ach and bring their ho­me­work with them. Throug­hout the y­e­ar, our first pri­o­ri­ty is sur­fing. It ta­kes two to two and a half y­e­ars until a per­son can surf u­nas­sis­ted and unsu­per­vi­sed.

"Du­ring ex­am ti­mes we do ho­me­work with them first and then they surf. We coope­ra­te with the s­chools in that way.

"We ha­ve an urn and we ma­ke nood­les and sand­wi­ches. We gi­ve them ap­ples or ba­na­nas and bre­ad with pe­a­nut but­ter and jam. On cold days ma­ke Mi­lo.

"At the mo­ment we ha­ve 25 sur­fers. They don't all ar­ri­ve on the sa­me day. So­me ha­ve af­ter-s­chool clas­ses. Espe­ci­al­ly the re­al­ly s­mall child­ren don't co­me e­very day. We re­cruit child­ren a­ged se­ven or eig­ht. Surf­bo­ards are do­na­ted. We ha­ve one surf­bo­ard spon­sor which pro­vi­des bo­ards e­very y­e­ar. Most are second-hand bo­ards though. Wets­uits are spon­so­red by Co­ral Wets­uits in Ca­pe To­wn. "We get 10 to 15 brand new wets­uits in child­ren's si­zes e­ach y­e­ar. It's hard to get se­cond­hand kids' wets­uits."

Vi­viers says: "We fund the en­ti­re pro­gram­me. We ha­ve vo­lun­teers from Eu­ro­pe and North and South A­me­ri­ca. They pay for the pri­vi­le­ge of wor­king for us. "We gi­ve them food and ac­com­mo­da­ti­on. They pay a fee.

We ha­ve four sa­la­ried pe­op­le. On­ly one of the­se is ful­l­ti­me.

No­ne of the child­ren know how to swim w­hen they join the pro­gram­me.

"We ta­ke it very slo­w­ly in the be­gin­ning. The child­ren spend the first six mont­hs playing on the wa­ter's ed­ge," Vi­viers says.

"Then we get them on to a surf­bo­ard, with two vo­lun­teers per child. By the ti­me they surf on their own, they ha­ve le­arnt to swim."

Vi­viers says the­re is a s­mall swim­ming pool at the pre­mi­ses of the NPO. "We ha­ve per­mis­si­on to fix it. It will be a R100 000 o­pe­ra­ti­on."

‘We ha­ve vo­lun­teers from Eu­ro­pe and North and South A­me­ri­ca. They pay for the pri­vi­le­ge of wor­king for us.’

Mar­chall Nor­tjé (rig­ht) was one of the first to join the sur­fing pro­gram­me and re­mai­ned on bo­ard until 2016. To­day he is a qua­li­fied li­fe­guard and al­so works for The Sur­fer Kids as an in­struc­tor. With him is Her­mann Vi­viers.

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