The Surf Seniors sessions are aimed at anyone aged over the age of 55 with an interest in surfing, and consist of gentle exercise and learning about surf safety and education. The sessions also include basic CPR & First Aid training.
Lee Dalzell, Participation & Community Programs Officer, Surf Life Saving SA says the initiative is to attract older people to the water.
“Many people think surfing is a young person’s area, but it’s not; you don’t have to be young to be a surfer,” she says. “We’re wanting to help keep people active and mobile.”
While the sessions are an introduction to surfing, Ms Dalzell says they are a great opportunity for former surfers to get back into the sport and meet new people.
“People fall out of sports for a variety of reason and think they can’t get back into it in later life – but you can,” says Ms Dalzell. “The Instructors are highly trained and will accommodate your level.”
She points out there is an enormous benefit for older people from the social aspects of surfing tool. “We want people more involved in surf clubs, going down to the beach and having a chat – there is a real community aspect to surfing too,” she highlights.
As well as offering social and fitness opportunities, Surf Life Saving SA points out the program benefits are wide reaching, as it improves coastal safety literacy and increases bonds between lifesavers and the community. The program also offers increased access to safe and affordable fitness activities at the beach while improving social connection for marginalised community members and increasing diversity in participants in Surf Life Saving.
The Surf Senior sessions are free and include refreshments. They are been held at two locations in South Australia. Visit Surf Life Saving SA website for more information.