A few weeks back we were contacted by a representative from the Colombian Embassy in Australia. They were making arrangements for a few lucky children from remote communities in Colombia to come across to Australia for the trip of a lifetime. The children are part of a small surf club that had been put together for young Afro-Colombian children in a remote region of Colombia.
Since starting the surf club they have had some great results in local tournaments. The success of the club is also seen in the happiness it brings to the children’s lives. There were three girls on the trip. Girl Surf Network were contacted as the girls really wanted to see other females surfing and meet other females that surfed. Surfing in general is pretty rare where they come from, let alone female surfing.
The group were to head along to watch the NSW State Titles at Shelly Beach on the weekend. We planned a meet and greet and a surfing lesson with Sandra English, a full-time surf coach with a fair few competitive surfing titles to her name as well. Mother Ocean was not on our side on this day. It was a pumping 8ft solid swell at Shelly Beach. It was solid along the entire East Coast! No chance of running a surf lesson for the girls. Instead we opted for a meet and greet.
Sandra English (4 time Australian Champion & surf coach), Amee Donohoe (ex-WCT competitor and surf coach), WQS female surfers Sarah Baum and Skye Burgess, State Titles competitors Annabel Barratt, Jen Arnold and Nakia Fleuren to name a few. The Colombian girls couldn’t speak any English. Their group leader did a great job in translating for us. The smiles and wide eyes let us all know they were pretty stoked.
I took a moment to soak this in. This was Girl Surf Network at its best. The GSN platform allowed for us to meet with young females in remote communities in Colombia that couldn’t speak English. Girls that rarely saw another female surfer, let alone a group like the above at the NSW State Titles. I hope surfing continues to bring them joy and opportunities. This definitely made my day.
x Kim Eulenstein
Girl Surf Network
Check out their site at http://www.clubdesurfdelchoco.com/