Pupil from Ardnashee School and College practicing surf therapy

Beat ‘boardom’

Funded by Youth 19 and documented by AlleyCats TV company, Ardnashee School and College pupils teamed up with Knockavoe School pupils in a shared sports education programme to test the benefits of surf therapy at Alive Surf School in Portrush.

The pupils, all of whom have a diagnosis of autism, were anxious about trying the new sport.  However with the support of coaches from Alive Surf School they made huge progress moving from the sand to the water to try some skills in surfing.

Keep an eye out for the project featuring on the BBC one show later this summer!

Mr McFeeters, Principal of Ardnashee School and College, surfed alongside the pupils in the sea and said that the project had “huge potential given the positive effects of outdoor sports on mental health and well being.”

Sinead Crossan, senior teacher and organiser of the event commented,

"Some of the pupils display anxiety and it was interesting to see them bond through the sport with new friends.  Their self-esteem was raised as they went through the programme and they took to the water with such confidence by day two.

“With this generation of teenagers often saying they are bored and turning to the digital world to seek entertainment, this was a new type of 'board' for them and the benefits of exercise for teenagers has great importance."