N: 52° 26′ 34.275″ O: 4° 37′ 53.813″
“The Surf Project gives surfing lessons to children with Down, autism and ADHD. Surfing has a positive effect on the development of the children and gives self-confidence a huge boost. “” This really appeals to us at SurfaWhile and this was reason enough for a first introduction.
The Surf Project
Last April was our first encounter with the Surf Project, when we spoke to Freek while enjoying a nice cup of coffee. Freek is one of the volunteers of the central team of the Surf Project, an organization that consists of – and is supported by – volunteers. See a video of the project below (in Dutch).
Four locations for surfing
The Surf Project has been around for 5 years and they are currently surfing at 4 locations; Zandvoort, Ouddorp, Camperduin and Ter Heijde. At all these locations there is a team of volunteers who go surfing with the kids. The teams are led by a volunteer coordinator on site, a structure that works very well.
In 2014 the project started with 8 kids who could surf under the guidance of 16 volunteers. Currently the team consists of 185 volunteers, which makes it possible for 110 kids to surf. And this will be much more in the future. And to make this expansion possible, the Surf Project is always looking for new volunteers. But you can also support this fantastic organization in other ways.
Research of Surf Project
“The Surf Project, in collaboration with a team of psychiatrists and psychologists, is conducting research into the effect of surfing on the quality of life and self-confidence.” After 3 lessons there is often a difference to be seen with the kids who have surfed. How nice would it be (and effective – that’s the most important thing!) If surfing in the future can become a treatment option within the standard care (incl. A – partial – reimbursement).
After a first pilot in 2016, it was found that research in 2017 indicated that the quality of life of the participating kids had really improved after the first 3 surfing lessons. Feelings measure the joy of a child, as well as how comfortable someone is in his / her skin and this turned out to have both increased. This special find was a good proof of the project and it was all the more obvious that it is fantastic how people are committed.
Volunteer at the Surf Project?
You too can become a volunteer at the Surf Project. It is not a requirement that you can already surf very well, enthusiasm and affinity with working with the kids is much more important! For more information and options, we kindly refer you to the page about volunteering at the Surf Project.
Of course it is also very welcome if you would like to make a financial contribution to the Surf Project. They have a separate Support Us section on the website.