We have been nominated for a BBC Sports Award by our amazing friends at Surf Snowdonia. The club has come along way in it's first year and lets hope the club gets the recognition is deserves.
Thank you Surf Snowdonia for pulling together this amazing nomination....
"The club is based at Surf Snowdonia, in the heart of the Conwy Valley, North Wales. It has created an emerging youth surf culture in the most unlikely of places – the heart of the land-locked Conwy Valley, and it has inspired many children and teenagers in the Conwy Valley to enjoy a brand new sport.
The Clwb Syrffio Dyffryn Conwy came about thanks to the strong partnership - and shared passion for getting kids active in the outdoors – between the local community, The Outdoor Partnership, Conwy Council and Surf Snowdonia. Surf Snowdonia is a world-first inland surf lagoon which opened in August 2015. It donates its waves, equipment and expertise (instructors) to the club at no charge.
The aim of the club is to provide access to the world-class surf facilities offered by Surf Snowdonia for the children of Conwy County. So far, it has given well over 120 local children aged 8-17 the opportunity to try surfing in a safe environment with the benefit of expert tuition (the Surf Snowdonia Surf Academy is led by the current Welsh Champion surfer Jo Dennison).
The members meet at 7.30am every Saturday morning from April – November. The club currently has an active membership of 60 youngsters with an ever-increasing waiting list. The ambition is to expand the club’s capacity in future seasons.
Inclusion is one of the club’s top priorities. Its ambition is to give local children the opportunity to enjoy the exhilaration of surfing, regardless of their age, family income or ability. To make it as accessible as possible, membership is free. The cost per child is just £4 per session, including access to all surf equipment and wetsuits, as well as use of Surf Snowdonia’s facilities. There is a fund to help any child who is struggling to find or pay for transport to the club (this can be a real issue in rural communities).
The club has a very active development ethos and has facilitated beach lifeguard qualifications for five of its members so far this season. Further training is in the pipeline. One of the objectives of the club is to develop and nurture local talent, to provide the surf instructors and lifeguards of the future and employment opportunities for its members. One club member has already gained employment at Surf Snowdonia and many more are sure to follow.
The enthusiasm of the young members coupled with the expert tuition and facilities available to them has achieved some remarkable progress. Many members have progressed from the beginner waves (knee-high white water) to being able to surf in the advanced area of the lagoon (on an overhead wave). Who knows, maybe land-locked Conwy Valley will one day produce a Welsh Olympic Surf Champion! (Surfing will be part of the Olympic Games for the first time at Tokyo 2020).
It is also worth mentioning that the club has also brought together parents and guardians from across the Conwy Valley to create a very proactive and dynamic group. The club needs about ten parents a week to give up their time, and this has been offered week after week by many different individuals. The club values these adult members immensely and offers them their own training and development opportunities such as first aid and lifeguarding. It is a very engaged, supportive and enthusiastic group.
This wonderful community club can be proud of some remarkable transformations, both on and off the waves. Many parents have commented on the confidence boost the club has given to their children, transforming their self-esteem as their surfing has improved and they have been able to mentor younger members of the club. It also keeps them off their social media and tech devices for a good part of every weekend.
The Clwb Syrffio Dyffryn Conwy is set to go from strength to strength. It is an enormous asset to the local community"