Earlier this year, three local West Australian surfer’s embarked on a mission, and that mission was to enhance the lives of those living with Autism through surfing. Fast-forward several months and the lads have successfully launched ‘Ocean Heroes’, a Not for profit organisation based here in Perth.
Ocean Heroes was set up by Tom Johnston, Luke Hallam and Sam Moyle who are all experienced local surfers.
Tom Johnston: Owner and head coach of Perth Go Surf
Luke Hallam: Personal Trainer at Revolution Sport, Shenton Park running a specialised fitness program for Autistic children.
Sam Moyle: Marine Scientist here in WA.
Ocean Heroes plan to hold surfing events every 2-3 months throughout the year. The last event was held at Leighton Beach, Fremantle in June 2016 where 24 youngsters turned out, each having about 45 minutes of surfing. Alongside Tom, Luke and Sam were a large contingent of volunteers helping organise registrations as well as assisting in the water.
The event was featured in the front page of the Post Newspaper on 4 June 2016.
The next event is planned for the 25th of September 2016. Updates on times and location can be found at Oceanheroes.com.au.
“It is such a positive thing for the kids to be in the ocean. And once they catch a wave, they just want to do it again. It’s great for kids who experience sensory overload. They chill out and its therapeutic,” Luke said.
Surfing has long been known for its physical demands but the mental side often overlooked. Surfing is about letting go of thoughts, stress and anxiety to simply be on the wave, allowing ones body to fall into its natural rhythm. William Barrett-Lennard (12) of Wembley attended the last Ocean Heroes event and his mother Judie said “the positive effect of surfing is incredible. They were teaching them to stand up on the surfboard and surf. It was a fantastic day. Surfing releases anxiety and helps de-stress.”
Ocean Heroes plan to roll out the format on a National Scale, offering the surfing experience to kids living with Autism in coastal towns all around Australia. For updates and information please go to www.oceanheroes.com.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The team at Ocean Heroes are currently working hard behind the scenes in organising the next event.
Support from local business, donations and the community will ensure that Ocean Heroes can continue to provide quality, innovative services and support for children and teenagers living with Autism and their families. So please get in touch with the team at Ocean Heroes if you would like to support this wonderful initiative. email@example.com
Cheers and Happy Surfing