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Riding waves keeps children off the streets

Written by Vuyo Ndlovu
Gliding on water is not just a sport or a fun activity for young people living within the Durban city centre in KwaZulu-Natal but it is also an escape from social ills.

Surfers Not Street Children is an organisation that provides free surfing lessons to street children and disadvantaged youth within the city centre.

The organisation is a direct response to tackling homelessness of children and ensures that the youth do something positive with their lives. Some of the surfers from the Surfers Not Street Children and KZN Surfing Club who received surf boards. The boards will be used for development purposes.

The eThekwini Municipality recently supported this organisation by donating 10 surf boards. 

The boards are designed for development purposes and are made out of foam that help beginner surfers to stay above water level. 

Manager of the municipality’s sport and recreation development department Teddi Adams said that the boards would assist aspirant surfers.

“The donation is part of the municipality’s strategy to develop sports and ensure that all youth, irrespective of race and class, have access to facilities that will help them to excel in their chosen sports code.”

Langelihle Nkosi (16) who is a surfer, thanked the municipality for the donation. 

“I enjoy coming to the surfing lessons because they help me get fit and I enjoy riding the waves.” Nkosi encouraged other aspirant surfers to come and participate and learn more about surfing.

Sandile Mqadi surfing coach of the Surfers Not Street Children Club, said that the organisation was mainly aimed at teaching children surfing skills as a means to get them off the streets.

“We mainly cater for street children and those from previously disadvantaged communities.  Our services are free and youth from the ages of five to 23 are welcome,” said Mqadi.

 He added that the boards donated by the municipality will assist their efforts and more children will be able to take part in the programme. 

 “Although we appreciate all the assistance we receive, we would like to see more surfing events being organised where the youth can participate and get to expose their skills to an audience,” he said.

The Surfers Not Street Children Club offers surfing lessons from Monday to Friday at 08h30 and again at 13h30.  Interested participants can register at the Surfers Not Street Children Office at North Beach.

The municipality also donated another 10 surfboards to the KwaZulu-Natal Surfing Federation.