Last Saturday we had the utmost honor of participating in our first event with the organization A Walk On Water.
A WALK ON WATER provides water therapy through guided surf instruction to special needs children. Surfing is used as a tool to gain self confidence skills and promote the therapeutic benefits of the sport’s positive effects. Children experience the true “stoke” of surfing and a sense of accomplishment as family and friends cheer them on from the beach. Brothers and sisters also participate, helping to solidify an often strained bond between siblings. Our surf events focus on both the athletes and their families, who are treated to a well-deserved day of relaxation, healthy food and lifestyle guidance.
We arrived at the beach at 7:30am on a chilly morning to help set up. Today there would be around 80 volunteers helping AWOW take approximately 60 children or "athletes" surfing.
I was designated to the water safety team where I spent the day getting the kids comfortable in the water and catching anyone who fell off their board or just needed a little help swimming in the ocean waves.
These kids and athletes were absolutely fearless! I was so impressed with their efforts and attitudes. You could see in many of the parents faces how much this time and surf therapy meant to them.
The Surfer Therapy dog, Haole was a big hit and so fun to see surfing on his own board!
A Walk On Water puts on about 6 of these events a year with the next one being November 11th in Malibu. Spectators are always welcome to come and cheer everyone on! If you would like to volunteer yourself you can find information on that HERE.
All images by Trevor Pikhart