Positive Waves’ ‘Surf For Self-Worth’

Positive Waves’ ‘Surf For Self-Worth’ initiative is offering supported swimming, bodyboarding and surfing sessions to those in Newquay who need them most.

Positive Waves, in association with Women + Waves and our sister company, Newquay Activity Centre, has been running free surf lessons for Newquay locals this June, to promote personal wellbeing and to experience and enjoy the benefits that come from spending time in the ocean.  

Due to physical limitations or impairments, social constraints or psychological barriers, there are many people in Cornwall who don’t have access to the ocean. Positive Waves aim to make the ocean more accessible for people of all ages and backgrounds, and to help them grow in confidence, resilience and self-belief. 

Rebecca Mantle, Founder of Positive Waves says “Our experience is that most people are energised by time spent in the ocean, and this can positively boost our wellbeing, bringing an element of buoyancy into our lives, and helping us float above some of our struggles. For anyone feeling generally low or swamped at work, dealing with anxiety, recovering from addiction, overcoming trauma or dealing with health conditions or impairments, spending time in the ocean has the power to change our lives for the better. We teamed up with Women + Waves and Newquay Activity Centre, who share the same belief and want to support the local community and make this happen!!”

Rebecca continues, “Our mission is to help people find a way to access and engage with the ocean, on whatever level feels good to them. Through supportive ocean sessions we’ll focus on building confidence and guiding people as they explore what they intuitively want to do in the water, whether it’s swimming, bodyboarding or surfing. There is much to gain from a gradual, supportive learning journey, taking time to gain independence & most importantly having lots of fun in the ocean environment”.

The aim is to create positive ripples of change within people’s lives, and across the wider Newquay community.

Beth Mitchell joined a free session and said “Due to injuries, I’ve not been on a surfboard for years. In fact, before the sessions, I felt anxious and lost all self-confidence. The sessions have been the best thing, and to be honest, I never thought I’d get on a board again, but Bex and her team have been amazing. They have provided a safe space, given lots of encouragement and reassurance, made the experience fun, and I’m happy to say my confidence has greatly improved as a result. I’m hoping to continue to grow my confidence and surfing ability and continue to get in the water”.

Enjoying the sunshine, surf and surfing camaraderie, Sal Steeple said “A group of amazing women of all ages (many of us 50 yrs plus) varying levels of confidence in the ocean, and all fitness levels came together to gain confidence in ourselves, what our bodies might be capable of, and to better understand and respect the sea. What a fun, bonding, flipping exhausting experience it has been as we launched, moved and sometimes threw ourselves on or near a board! All of us gained confidence, self-esteem and shared in our love and respect of the sea as we moved through it. Thank you to the brilliant team who made us feel like we can do anything!”

Women + Waves Founder & Director, Rachel Murphy said, “It’s been very fulfilling for us to give back to the community and support this great initiative. The reaction has been fantastic and the results have spoken for themselves. Our staff team have got on board to raise funds for the initiative through fun auctions and as a company, it has been really rewarding to support it financially and with resources. We look forward to continuing to build on this in the future”.

Founder of Positive Waves, Rebecca says, “It’s a sad reality that many people think that it’s too late to learn to surf and that their ship has sailed! We find this hesitancy especially common among women. The fact is, it’s never too late to discover the joys of the ocean. This June most of our students are women in their 50s and 60s. It’s their time to shine and they are absolutely loving it”.

The next Positive Waves sessions are due to run in September. For more information or to apply to participate in the sessions please visit www.positivewaves.org.uk.

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