Ocean Heroes - Surfing on the Spectrum
Ken Foggo introduced Sam Moyle and Luke Hallam, two of the co-founders of Ocean Heroes, a Western Australia based charity that aims to improve the well-being of those living with Autism and their families through surfing.
Luke ran a successful personal training business for twelve years, which specialised in training people with disabilities and he developed a program specific to working with people on the Autism Spectrum. Sam, a marine biologist, has been involved in many not-for-profits over the years, and has found his passion in sharing the surf stoke with kids on the spectrum.
Luke told us the idea for Ocean Heroes came about when a it was noticed that the condition of a little girl at his gym improved dramatically with exercise. Her mum wondered what more could be done and the idea of combining exercise with the wonderful beach environment was born.
They started in 2016 at Leyton Beach with twenty kids and some wonderful volunteers and since then Ocean Heroes has shared the thrill and wonder of surfing with over four thousand members of the Autism community, enabling them to build self-confidence in a supportive and fun environment.
The organisation has grown as the volunteers and families alike saw the benefits of the program which filled a much-needed gap in the Autism community. People living with Autism face unique challenges that can make it difficult for them to develop self-confidence and make genuine connections. Learning to surf offers a fun, healthy, and unique way for people on the Autism spectrum to develop their confidence, boost self-esteem and make connections with others.
As well as funding for such items as special surf boards, Ocean Heroes needs volunteers, who are willing to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday morning, and storage for their equipment. Karrinyup Rotary will make a contribution to the program from Community Service funding.