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Coast kids Surfing Day proves a hit

17th February 2021 The Gisborne Herald Jack Malcolm

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Photo: RIDING A WAVE TOGETHER: Ethan Gill and his sister India.

Gisborne Boardriders Club members and coaches are still riding the feelgood wave of giving back to the community over the weekend.

On Saturday, 55 children from Hicks Bay to Tolaga Bay travelled to Gisborne for an East Coast Kids Surfing Day, and on Sunday, in conjunction with Parafed Gisborne Tairawhiti, GBC had 10 adaptive surfers riding the waves with their families.

Gisborne Boardriders surfing development manager Flo Bub said weekends like this were the most rewarding for coaches and organisers.

“The kids are so thankful,” he said.

“There are smiles all round.”

The East Coast Kids Surfing Day kept growing . . . more than expected, Bub said.

Through community donations, the club was able to give out 10 surfboards and six wetsuits to attendees.

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A comment on the Gisborne Boardriders Facebook page from a mother whose child was given a surfboard said they had surfed all day on Sunday and after school on Monday.

“An amazing introduction to surfing for our Coast kids, my one is on cloud 9 . . . we are grateful,” the comment said.

Sixteen coaches donated their time to help manage the event and keep the kids in the water safe, and 10 also coached the adaptive surfers on Sunday.

“It was an awesome experience for everyone involved,” Bub said.

“We couldn't have asked for better conditions. We had great waves and a light offshore wind.”

Bub said the next step for continuing to upskill coastal surfers was to make more sustainable connections.

It was unrealistic to expect kids to travel to Gisborne every weekend, or for coaches to travel north every week, so they were looking at ways to provide coaching for the coaches, and suitable equipment, he said.

“That's the beauty of surfing . . . you only need storage (for surfboards) and supervision.”

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