Thirty-one young surfers drawn from Surfing South Africa’s transformation and development programs are back home after taking part in a Development Surf Camp in the Eastern Cape between July 13 and 17.
Drawn from all parts of the South African coast, the group of 13 girls and 17 boys were put through their paces by legendary National Coach Graham Hynes and SSA Coaching Director Ant Brodowicz. Assisting Hynes and Brodowicz were a number of internationally-accredited coaches as well as up-and-coming coaches, who were invited to the camp to work alongside Hynes and Brodowicz.
The Development Surf Camp not only focused on surfing, hands on coaching, tag team competition and free surfing but also gave the invited surfers, coaches and managers a chance to visit the Billabong Pro at Jeffreys Bay, an international surfing event for the world’s best surfers.
During their visit to Jeffreys Bay on Day Two of the camp the group watched defending Billabong Pro champion and local hero Jordy Smith dominate his first round heat and then were able to spend time with Smith afterwards.
Other top international surfing stars such as Mick Fanning of Australia also gave their time in support of this Surfing South Africa project ensuring that the group got their chance to rub shoulders with the best surfers in the world before departing with event memorabilia donated by Billabong.
There was even more excitement in store for the participants when they travelled to Surf Centre in Port Elizabeth that evening for an autograph signing session with Jordy Smith and a contingent of the world’s best surfers.
Thanks to O’Neill and Oakley and Dave Lipschitz of Surf Centre the group were not only able to spend more time with their heroes but were able to return to Cape St Francis with a bag of items put together by the sponsors of the evening.
The Surfing South Africa Development Surf Camp initiative was made possible by a grant from Sport and Recreation South Africa. The surfers, coaches and managers who participated were drawn from various transformation and development programmes run by Surfing South Africa over the past 18 months or so.
After the success of the inaugural SSA Development Surf Camp it seems certain that the event will become an annual initiative.