On the weekend of the 30th of November the Club held the final event of the year for the Club de Surf del Chocó. This was an intra-club competition held on the beaches near Termales, the village where the club is headquartered in Chocó. The two days were a great success with over 35 kids participating in the events. On the Sunday night we held the awards ceremony with all the kids taking home something recognizing their participation in the Club and their efforts throughout the year.
The major winner was Santiago Mosquera Valencia who won the prestigious Spirit of Surf award for his dedication, hard work and willingness to help out his fellow surfers.
The Future Promise award went to 8-year-old Yeifer Ibarra Diaz. Yeifer is a real talent and despite his young age is already surfing the big breaks with the older surfers of the Club. It is his dream to become a professional surfer and with the right opportunities he can no doubt get there.
We invite you to view the short video showing what the kids were involved in throughout 2013 – aspects of their training program and their participation in the national surfing competitions held in Barranquilla and Santa Marta. As you may recall, the club had outstanding results in these competitions, especially when you consider that some of the kids had been surfing for only 7 months at the time. Two of our surfers stood proudly on the award podiums in these competitions, with Edwin Diaz taking third place in the men’s open division and Diana Palacios taking second place in the women’s open category. I invite you to dedicate some time to have a look. It is through your generosity and support that the Club has been able to achieve what it has done this year.
We invited a representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Sports Diplomacy program to Termales to see first-hand the excitement of the kids and the engagement of the community with a view towards the potential inclusion of some of the kids in the programs that the Ministry conducts around the world. Over the last two years, more than 500 children between the ages of 14-17 have travelled outside of Colombia for training and competitions for various sports in the US, Australia, Puerto Rico and many other countries – hopefully, young surfers from Termales can be included in future years.
For 2014 we have some exciting plans:
We already have 14 more surfboards waiting to be delivered to the Club. The boards have arrived in Buenaventura on Colombia’s Pacific Coast and we are arranging for delivery to the club in Termales. With these boards, the kids will be able to spend more time in the water rather than have to wait for four or five surfers to get some time in the water on the same boards.
In April, we have arranged for one of the talented young surfers, Santiago Mosquera, to spend two weeks in Australia, at the Surf Australia high performance centre. Surf Australia has offered a substantial discount on the two week package including room and board, with the club picking up the cost. This will be the first time that a Colombian surfer has attended training on this level. Hopefully, we will be able to send one or two surfers annually for this training in Australia.
In 2013, we were only able to send four surfers to the national competitions. Our goal will be to send the top 5 or 6 kids to these events.
Your Support is Vital:
Speaking for the Club, we are deeply gratified by the support we have received to date, which has enabled us to achieve all that has been accomplished. The kids are absolutely delighted, and their parents are grateful that their children have the option to participate in this horizon-expanding opportunity. Because we tie participation in the club events to good citizenship, we are reinforcing values that the community appreciates – the kids have to do well in school, and be respectful of each other and of their parents. Given the pressures on these vulnerable communities to participate in illegal activities, the Club offers an alternative, a way to say no to drugs and no to the gangs that look for recruits in these remote areas.
Delivering on these goals requires resources and support. I urge you to consider making a donation to support the Club as a way to help these kids help themselves. A donation in support of the club is a vote for a better future for these kids, and ultimately for this community and others that may become involved in the future. If you or your company are interested in supporting the Club’s initiatives for 2014 please get in contact and I will be happy to give you a call and explain more about what we are doing and trying to achieve.
Finally, everyone at the Club a huge thanks for your generosity and support in 2013. Don’t forget to take a look at the video and we hope you enjoy it.