Soldier On program uses surfing to improve physical, mental health
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 29 June, 2016 - Surfing Australia and Soldier On announces an official partnership that will see veterans benefit from a unique surfing and rehabilitation experience through the Soldier On Surf Therapy Program.
Created off the back of a successful Soldier On Surf Day earlier this year, the program will have two separate components - a series of intermediate surf camps at the Hurley Surfing Australia High Performance Centre (HPC) at Casuarina in Northern NSW, and a program of learn to surf lessons facilitated by Surfing Australia affiliated Surf Schools.
Physical exercise and sports recovery have been proven to improve mental health and has been demonstrated with great success for veterans who participate in surf therapy programs in the USA. Deputy CEO of Soldier On, Tony Fraser is thrilled to see the program and the official partnership with Surfing Australia come to fruition.
“The opportunity we have now to get the Surf Therapy Program up and off the ground and out to veterans across the country is just brilliant and the feedback we have received from the twenty or so veterans that participated in the Soldier On Surf Day earlier this year was fantastic.”
Veteran Peter Parton has used surfing as therapy since retiring from the service and spoke about the great benefits of surfing to returned service men and women.
“I have struggled with some depression with my PTSD and surfing has definitely been that thing I can look forward to. If I am having a bad time I can go out and have a wave and just sit there and just be in the moment so I think the program is a great initiative."
Surfing Australia’s CEO Andrew Stark spoke about the great benefits surfing can provide to returned service men and women.
“The Soldier On Surf Therapy Program is an incredible opportunity for Surfing Australia to get involved and help out the veterans of Australia, get them in the water and experience the amazing healing power of the ocean and the sport and lifestyle of surfing,” he said.
The annual Soldier On Surfing Therapy program supported by nudie will include:
4 x HPC Surf Camps (8 veteran surfers per camp)
• Each camp will be a 1 x 2 day surf camp for intermediate surfers with all the extras – skate, gymnastics, float tank, coaching, meals & accommodation
4 x Learn to Surf program (8 veterans per program) for 4 weeks
• Run by Surfing Australia Surf Schools
• 1 x Program to be run at the Nudie Australian Boardriders Battle National Final