Surfing New Zealand this week launched a surfing programme for schools through the support of Kiwi Sport and Regional Sports Trusts.
The programme aims to give primary and intermediate school children the chance to go surfing under the guidance of professional surf instructors in a safe and user friendly environment.
"We have had a huge response" said Surfing New Zealand Sport Development Manager Lee Ryan. "The programme has proved so popular that we have had to turn some schools away as we simply could not cater for that number of learners" added Ryan in reference to the 350 students booked in for the first three days.
While much of the focus is on getting youngsters down to the beach for a surfing lesson, the long term vision is to up skill teachers with an International Surfing Association (ISA) Level One Coaching Certificate so they can continue the surfing programmes within their schools.
Surfing New Zealand will be leading teachers through the two day coaching course as part of the Learn to Surf Programme. Teachers will then be able to use the newly developed Junior Surfing Programme log book which will walk them through five levels of surf instruction aimed at children under twelve years of age.
The New Zealand way has always been to head to the beach, borrow a board and simply 'give it a go' and learn from your mistakes. However now you can avoid those troublesome solo attempts and get proper instruction to speed up the learning process.
"We have professional ISA accredited surf instructors so all the kids at the Have a Go Days are getting a professional level lesson with the appropriate equipment as their introduction to the sport" said Ryan.
After the programme finishes in the Bay of Plenty the programme heads to Counties Manukau in early March and Hawkes Bay later in the year with more regions to be added.
Source: Surfing New Zealand