SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — Children and young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities are being empowered through the sport of surfing.
Actress Tanna Frederick started Project Save Our Surf’s Consurfvation Camp to introduce the sport to children who otherwise wouldn’t have access to it.
“You never know what’s going to inspire a kid,” said Frederick. “You never know what that one thing is that they’re going to glom on to. Maybe…a couple of these kids are going to walk out of camp today, feeling good about themselves, and feeling powerful and empowered that they got up on a board….feeling like they can rule the world.”
“If you had a bad day, you had a good day, you had a so-so day, if you have problems in your life, you come to the beach, get out in the water, you surf, there is nothing that will wash away all your woes like that,” added Matt Stone of the Buccaneer Board Riders.
About a dozen kids from Tobinworld in Glendale, a school for those with autism or other disabilities, participated in the one-day camp in Santa Monica.
Some of the kids had never been to the ocean before and none of them had ever surfed.
Kamal Cleveland, 17, stood up over and over on his board—even without the use of his right arm.
“I feel excellent,” he said. “I’m proud of myself.”
Tobinworld’s assistant principal also hit the waves.
“Surfing is not easy at all. It takes patience. It takes perseverance and that will help them educationally and behaviorally moving forward,” said Chris Lougheed.