REGARDLESS of the weather conditions, if you go down to the Chintsa Beach, you will see a group of about 20 surfers every Saturday morning waiting to catch a wave.
The surfers are a diverse group between the ages of 10 and 20, whose skills with the board range from new learners to seniors providing assistance.
They are part of “Unstressed Surf School”, a non-profit organisation initiated by Friends of Chintsa (FoC) along the Wild Coast.
FoC’s Catherine Andersson said the school was also a support function to ensure that local children could continue stands as a drive that provides support and ensures that local children can continue to safely access the ocean.
“Since Unstressed first started in 2010, it has come to mean many different things to different members, all of whom come from challenging environments.
“Many members have found identity here, a sense of belonging, and see Unstressed as their home. For others, it gives them something to do at the weekend, something to look forward to,” she said.
Andersson said the surf school receives donations from various sponsors.
“This support has enabled members to gain experience and qualifications for water and ocean-based careers, develop skills for resilience, reflect on their current lives in order to set and follow goals for their futures, and to engage with gender stereotypes,” she said.
From providing swimming lessons to over 50 local children and the youth, Anderson said the surf school has become an escape.
“It provides an escape, as one Unstressed says – “When I am surfing, all my problems disappear,” she said.
Other FoC initiatives include the Chintsa East Community Learning Centre (a computer hub and book exchange), Uniform Project, Chintsa Runners, Bear Necessities and JAM drop-off.
For more information please contact Catherine Andersson (firstname.lastname@example.org, 066 302 1575), or visit their website (www.friendsofchintsa.org) or Facebook: (Unstressed Surf School).
FoC has a 100% B-BBEE rating and is a registered PBO meaning that donations are tax deductible.