Surfing is sparking people’s enthusiasm in East Gippsland, with Reclink participants in Mallacoota enjoying a new way to connect with the ocean while learning about water safety and having fun.
The Reclink Sports and Recreation Manager for Eastern Victoria, Callista Cooper, says the surfing program is catered towards encouraging beginners to feel safe around the ocean.
“Our aim with the surfing program is to put people’s wellbeing first – our priority is ensuring participants are having fun, riding some white water, and finding the buzz in surfing,” she said.
The program is viable due to ongoing collaboration between Reclink and Surfing Victoria, G-Boards Australia, and Mallacoota surf shop “The Surf Shack”.
“We are thankful for the support from Surfing Victoria for assisting with certification for two Reclink sports coordinators to be qualified in surf coaching, G-boards for their assistance with purchasing a quiver of boards, the Mallacoota Surf Shack for supporting our program, and the DFFH for their funding support,” Callista said.
Feedback from participants has been overwhelming positive, with sessions booked out in advance.
One participant says she feels lucky to have the opportunity to try surfing, and feels supported and safe doing it.
“It's not only good for the exercise and personal growth in terms of building confidence in the water but mental health and 'filling the cup' emotionally as well. I've said it before, but I'll say it again, Reclink is just a fantastic concept for driving healthy positive changes within communities and my family alone is proof of the wonderful impact it has let alone all the other people the Reclink team has and continues to benefit.” – participant.