The idea was simple – “If my partner is going to do business in the village, we should give something back to the community.“
I have always worked with kids, either as a baseball coach or later as a ski instructor. So this was clear. I knew there might be a language barrier so I was looking for a local instructor and I found the best of the best – Thushan.
First season was more or less an experiment. We didn´t know if we would even get the kids interested in surfing and swimming. When I was hanging a poster on the beach I met a few local fathers and they were excited about the idea and they promised to bring their children. Luck on our side!
First season we called some of our friends every lesson to come and help us to make sure everybody is safe. We´ve got surfboards from Surf Lanka and Surftrip for free. The kids are mostly from the village and the capacity is limited.
Since last year we have had big support from Drivethru surfcamps and Infinity surfcamps. Infinity is letting us use a surfboards and its swimming pool so the kids can learn how to swim. Lessons are not only about having fun in the water, but also about communicating with foreigners in a foreign language. I can definitely say I have seen big progress in the children’s English. They are motivated to study English and use it in communication with us.
Some lessons are also focused on recycling and keeping the environment clean.
Every year we fundraise to collect swimming equipment for kids. Last year we got a boardbag full of lycra, boardshorts, fins, leashes and a surfboard from Swiss. There was also an English girl who brought many many useful things all the way from England. This year we are getting a big package from Czech Republic. Anybody can contribute. When the size is too big we take the clothes to other local surfers.
We are excited to be starting our third season in the middle of November 2017. You can follow us on our facebook page here.