Waves for Change (W4C), a South Africa-based non-profit, has just won the Laureus Sport for Good Award.
Each year the Laureus World Sports Academy, a London-based charity with programs in more than 30 countries, honors an organization or individual who, according to its website, has "used the power of sport to overcome violence, discrimination or disadvantage." Laureus is comprised of Laureus Sport for Good, the Laureus World Sports Academy and Ambassadors Programme, and the Laureus World Sports Awards. The organization's overall mission is to use sport to improve the lives of young people.
W4C's win recognizes contribution to its community, as well as the growing embrace of surf therapy as a tool for social change. While not formally affiliated, the World Surf League South Africa office has donated wetsuits to Waves for Change. The non-profit's co-founders, Tim Conibear and Bongani Ndlovu, have also appeared on the WSL's Dawn Patrol show during the 2015 and 2016 J-Bay Open Championship Tour (CT) contests.
During his appearance, Ndlovu explained the impetus for starting W4C. "It's a privilege to live in South Africa," he said. "But at the same time, in this magnificent country, with many beautiful features, you've got a backdrop of violence and neglect in communities. Kids don't have a sense of belonging, so to find that, they'll go to gangsters rather than going to their parents, because there's a lot of neglect in communities.
"That's where Waves for Change comes in, for emotional stability and support for the kids and give them a positive circle of friends, so they can do more within in the community."
For more about W4C, visit their website.