Transformation through surfing

By Pierre Tostee and Farzanah Asmal

While the world’s best surfers will be in action at the Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill (June 27 – July 7), development, unity and transformation remain at the heart of the world’s longest running professional surfing event in KwaDukuza. The Ballito Pro will once again show its support for community-based surf development programmes when Sea Harvest together with Surfing South Africa and the KwaDukuza Municipality will be hosting a Development Surf Day on Sunday, 7 July, to celebrate the journey of transformation in this sport.

Young surfers from KZN’s iLembe Surf Riders, Ubuntu Learn to Surf and Swim Club, Sisonke Surf Club and Surfers Not Street Children (SNSC) will take to the waves in a fun tag team event.

The young surfers will have the privilege of surfing with event ambassador and surfer, Sal Masekela, an internationally acclaimed action sports presenter. The son of South African jazz legend, Hugh Masekela, Sal is the founder of Stoked Mentoring, a non-profit organisation which uses action sports to empower children from underprivileged communities in the USA.

“Transformation and development of the sport of surfing  has always been the cornerstone for the KwaDukuza Municipality as the License Holders and hosts of the Ballito Pro Presented by O’Neill International Surf and Lifestyle event,” said Event Coordinator, Collette Bundy. “We are steadfast in our efforts to continue with our task to create social and economic opportunities for our people through the Ballito Pro event which is a unique nation building platform and a catalyst for introducing this sport to our rural communities,” she added.

This year, Surfers Not Street Children founder Tom Hewitt MBE and his team will be sharing their mentoring experiences of the past 21 years with the other clubs as part of the evolution of the Ballito Pro’s heart for surfing development. “We are really excited about the development surfing contest and competing with the other clubs. We are huge fans of Sal Masekela and looking forward to an incredible week,” said Tom Hewitt.

As part of the KwaDukuza Municipality’s commitment to uplift local communities, during the Ballito Pro Programme, there will be an opening of the community swimming pool at Shaka’s Head on Sunday, 30 June by Sal Masekela, the Mayor and Council of KwaDukuza Municipality.