Watch how a surf school is helping youngsters move away from crime

2015-09-06 00:21

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Since opening in 1989, Gary’s Surf School has become a beacon of hope in the Muizenberg area for underprivileged children for the communities surrounding this popular surfing area of Cape Town. 

With crime, poverty and gang violence being a common occurrence in areas such as Mitchells Plain and Masiphumelele, the surfing school offers youngsters a route away from the streets and the crime. 

“If it wasn’t for surfing, I don’t know what I would be doing,” says Nobel de Castro, a learner-turned-surfing-coach, in the video Surfers Corner. 

De Castro is just one out of hundreds of children whom have benefited from Gary’s Surf School, which offers a free lesson to underprivileged children every day. 


“Something that Gary’s Surf School believes in is that you don’t help people by giving them stuff for free, you show them how to do things and then let them learn how to do it and make their way forward,” explains Gary Kleynhans, owner of the school. 

Gary’s Surf School aims to equip underprivileged children with self-respect, self-esteem and self-worth, which gets these children on the right track to living a normal and substantial life. It is no surprise to hear that some of these children view Kleynhans as a role model or even as a father figure. 

Speaking from experience, De Castro says that once you are in the Ghetto, it is very hard to get out, especially if young children start getting involved in gang activities. 

Gangs prey on young and vulnerable kids but businesses such as Gary’s surf school aim to nurture these children and give them an alternate place to have fun at rather than in their poverty-stricken community. 

This surf school “affects them so much that it kind of forces them in finding a way to get out of the township”, explains Kleynhans. 

Read more on:    surfing

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