Surf For Life Project starts Vegemite SurfGroms program
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 12 March, 2014 - A new charity, the Surf For Life Project, is aiming to raise enough funds to introduce 500 underprivileged Australian children to the joys of surfing.
Established by Surfing Australia, the Surf For Life Project will raise funds for the children to experience surfing through the VEGEMITE SurfGroms program following the huge success of the initiative last year.
In 2012, the Quiksilver Foundation held its annual Awaken the Spirit Art Auction & World Champions Ball, and raised over $80,000. With these funds and working with a number of charities around Australia in 2013, Surfing Australia visited remote communities across the country and offered local kids the opportunity to try surfing for the first time.
From Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, to Wilcannia in the remote far-west of NSW and Ceduna in South Australia and many other areas, underprivileged kids joined the VEGEMITE SurfGroms program and enjoyed the ride of their lives.
Surfing Australia now wants to continue this initiative in 2014 through the Surf For Life Project.
Surfing Australia CEO Andrew Stark said the goal for 2014 was to revisit some of these communities and visit many more through the Surf For Life Project.
“This new Surf for Life Project is about staying true to our purpose to create healthier and happier Australians through experiencing the joy of surfing for life,” Stark said. “While the VEGEMITE SurfGroms national junior program has been an incredible success it is not always accessible to kids from underprivileged backgrounds and from regional communities that are far from the ocean.
“With the support of our partners and valued donations to the Surf for Life Project we would like to change the lives of Australian kids who would not otherwise have been able to participate and enjoy our amazing sport.”
Surfing Australia Chairman Norm Innis was a significant supporter of last year’s program through the NJ Innis Charitable Foundation.
“I am very proud to be associated with the Surf for Life Project, both as Chairman of Surfing Australia, and in the capacity as one of the trustees of the NJ Innis Charitable Foundation,” Innis said.
“The NJ Innis Charitable Foundation has long supported programs for disadvantaged children and used surfing as a means to help give these children a broader perspective on life. The Surfing Australia Surf for Life initiative has proven a perfect fit with that aim, and the smiles on the participants’ faces at each one of the VEGEMITE SurfGroms sessions helps make it all the more rewarding personally.
“Every dollar contributed goes directly toward making it possible for someone to experience the pure joy of surfing and all administration costs are absorbed within the broader framework of Surfing Australia.
“For me, as a donor, that is certainly an ideal scenario and the NJ Innis Charitable Foundation aims to be a long term supporter of this initiative.”
Quiksilver and Roxy Marketing Manager ANZ Troy Brooks said the Foundation did not hesitate to continue its backing of Surf For Life.
"The Quiksilver Foundation is stoked to continue its involvement in the Surf for Life Project,” Brooks said. “There is nothing greater than seeing a child's face light up after catching their first wave and the Surf for life project does this over and over again."
To assist with the fundraising efforts, Surfing Australia has registered the project with the Australian Sports Foundation Ltd (ASF). ASF project registration enables donations of $2 or more to be tax deductible.
The Surf For Life Project is supported by the Australian Sports Foundation, Surfing Australia, VEGEMITE SurfGroms, the Quiksilver Foundation and the NJ Innis Charitable Foundation.