kid enjoying his first wave with surf2heal

Parents Testimonials

quotes.png, 805B Our son Askar finds a lot of ordinary childhood sports like kicking a ball quite difficult and as a family we are constantly looking for activities that he and we can enjoy. Surfing in Garrettstown and the week in Banna were the highlights of 2009 for us. Askar loved 'surfing on the beach' and we got such a buzz seeing him participate in an activity that we ourselves cannot do. One of the most special things about Surf2heal is that so many people give of their time voluntarily and so obviously enjoy our children's pleasure in the water. To them we are so very grateful. Thank you. Eileen and Aslam Jallali

quotes.png, 805B We are looking forward to the new season of surf2heal. Evan had an absolute ball last year. We went to Kinsale and it was a fantastic experience despite the rain and the wind. Evan absolutely loved it and it was great to see him surrounded but totally dedicated and experienced team to ensure safety came 1st and pure enjoyment. To see the smile on his face was well worth it. Can't wait until this year kicks off. Thanks for all your hard work. Aita

quotes.png, 805B Well To put it in short since Oliver Surfed with you in g-town he has developed a much Braver and An amazing Love for water. He was never scared to get in I might add but he developed a confidence that proves you can achieve anything, Being autistic or not! As a family we have seen him grow, mature and become an adventure soul! He lives Indiana, USA and the chances of him surfing like he did in Ireland are slim (he is no where near the ocean) but on a daily basis he takes out a little picture album we made for him to remind him of the fun, the running, the screams, the laughs and the waves :-)) He remembers each of your names who dealt with him and frequently asks for you both!(and that was almost a year ago, He will NEVER forget) He Horse rides, swims ,started gymnastics, He is fit and needs to burn that energy! He has over 100 words at this stage so now we can in our way have a conversation with him.Its amazing to see him grow and develop and at the age of 8, almost 9 , We wish and dream for nothing more than to hear him tell us how much we too are loved. He tells us everyday now!Autism is a difficult one and for any parents out there, The surf2Heal team are amazing, Full of energy, kindness and understanding. Your child will smile, hold an adventure, may keep running in and out of the water, will scream & Laugh but dont worry, Its play time too xox Sinead (On behalf Of Olivers Proud Parents Rhona & Rick)

quotes.png, 805B My then six year old daughter had one surf session on the first day of our stay in Cork last year - after some convincing by her excellent surf2heal helpers, she loved being in the water and had a great time. It was lovely for us to see her being able to take on something new and place her trust in other people. She seemed to feel a real sense of achievment, and was able to enjoy the rest of our holiday so much more because she wanted to go to the beach every day after that. Our heartfelt thanks to all of you at surf2heal. Teresa

quotes.png, 805B Surf 2009 was a fantastic experience for us as a family. It can be very difficult to motivate our child to partake in physical activities. He does like to swim but apart from that he does not have any active hobby. We had no problem persuading him to take part in the surfing. He loved every minute of it and I am hoping it will develop into a life time hobby for him. He is not keen on team sports but surfing is an activity he is happy to take part in and it is also an activity he can share with his bother & sister. It is great to hear him answer when people ask him if he plays hurling or football...... "No I don't but I like to surf!" It is always said with great pride. I am hoping his early love of surfing will remain with him and develop into a lifetime hobby where it will lead to opportunities for him to socialize with his peers as he moves into his teenage and young adult years! Down the line I know! Grateful Parent

quotes.png, 805B My son Sean who has aspergers syndrome, was amongst the lucky children who were invited to take part in a surf camp in Banna beach, Co. Kerry last year. Although we were both excited about the camp, there was a lot of uncertainty with Sean about the whole thing but for me it was anxiety whether he actually go out in the water with people he had never met before. He is a very anxious child and he wouldn't want me watching him surfing either. So on Day 1 he reluctantly went out into the water and asked me not to be watching him (although l did cheat).I could see him do a little jump every so often and l knew he was pleased with himself. Day 2 he told me l could watch and l could see already that he was really getting to know his helpers and relax himself. By the end of the week the confidence he had gained in the week thanks to his "volunteer" helpers was amazing.He reminds me all the time since of Lorraine, Melissa, Maire and Blackie who he really took a liking to. The Friday night the children were been presented with certificates for surfing. Again the anxiety for the evening took over till we arrived. Sean told me he wasn't going up to accept his certificate on his own, he wanted me to go up with him.Half way through the presentations his name was called out off he went up on his own and had a photo taken with his helpers and if someone had taken a photo of me at the time l know my mouth was wide open in surprise. So thanks to our friends Lorraine, Melissa, Maire and of course Blackie, that bought Sean out of himself that week and boosted his confidence for him. He thoroughly enjoyed surf camp, that was his first time ever surfing and is looking forward to been a part of this year's camp again hopefully. Hope to see ye at surf camp 2010. Grateful Parent

quotes.png, 805B Eoghan took part in the Surf2Heal camp in Banna last year and without a doubt it was the best thing that happened for him in 2009. Before the camp began I was really dubious about it - I thought it all sounded lovely and well intentioned but that there was no way they were going to be able to get my Eoghan to participate - that he would just be screaming and running away and ruining it for everybody else. I was pretty nervous bringing him the first morning. There was no need to be. From the moment we arrived I was really impressed firstly with how professional and organised the whole team was and secondly how their warm patient acceptance worked so well with all the kids. There were lots of helpers so I had absolute confidence about safety and when any kid was under pressure or having a hard time it didn't matter at all. Nobody fussed. I experienced a real sense of relief and joy watching him in the water and when I saw him look for the board to get back on again I was grinning. Driving home all my nervousness was gone and instead there was that great happy feeling of pride and pleasure in my child - a feeling that can be rare enough when your child faces the challenges of a kid with autism. The whole week passed like that and I cannot praise or thank enough all of the volunteers. They gave so much with such love and enthusiasm that we felt very moved. Nuala

quotes.png, 805B Many thanks again for another excellent day at Surf2Heal in Garrettstown on Sunday. It was the nicest Fathers Day present to see Jerry enjoying himself so much. Surf2Heal is a credit to everyone involved and you should be very proud of yourselves. Jerry cannot balance on a bicycle yet you get him to stand up on a surfboard and to see him so happy makes us so proud. Alan, Mary and Jerry

quotes.png, 805B Thanks for this evening Joseph really enjoyed it. He was full of chat on the way home, he says the boots helped him to stay on the board. Joe don't say a whole lots, he understands everything, and will respond better if you repeat what you are saying to him. He also enjoys humor as you saw tonight. Thanks to you and all your team for your dedication to our kids. Happy Parent