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My first surf Lesson, a coordinator's tale

By Alice Jarrold 2 years ago
Categories Cape Town

I have always been one of those people who thought surfing just wasn’t for them. I’ve always loved sport but growing up in Scotland, I was something I didn’t really consider as an option. However, when I stepped into the role of Sport & Surfing coordinator, it was inevitable that I would need to learn.

As part of our Sport and Surfing program we take pre-selected groups of grade 6 and 7 kids for surfing lessons. We have three groups each of which have an allocated day. We run these lessons on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. Before taking the kids for the first time, the current Sport & Surfing volunteers and I went for a couple of lessons so we knew what we were doing.

The night before we were chatting about it and one of the boys asked if I was nervous. Surprisingly I wasn’t at all; I was really excited to give it a try. However, the next day when we arrived at the surf school the nerves really kicked in! I forced myself to ignore them and just enjoy the experience and I am so glad I did because it was absolutely incredible. I feel extremely lucky that my job has pushed me to try something that I otherwise probably would never have done.

However, it wouldn’t be a first lesson if I didn’t come away with some kind of injury. Waves can be strong! And one particularly strong wave managed to knock me straight off my board. This wouldn’t have been a problem on its own but another strong wave followed right behind causing my board to come flying straight for my face. The next thing I knew, I was standing in patch of water with a busted nose looking very confused. By this point I still hadn’t managed to stand up on the board which I was determined to do. So I shook it off, wiped away the blood and went back for more. After one more knock to the head and a lot of failed attempts later I finally managed to stand which was such an amazing feeling.

I am definitely not a natural born surfer but, it is something I would love to do more of and try and improve my skills. Now I get to take the kids out three times a week which has added another aspect to my job I really love.