NOMB Changes – Positive change in our society and our environment through surfing.

Event

Para Surf Training 2024

Surfing is a physically very demanding sport. It requires a lot of body strength, control and explosivity. Additionally, you need to be connected to the ocean in order to ride its waves. Surfing is a tough sport to learn for everyone.

Now imagine a person with a physical and/or mental disability. Being able to surf with a disability is even more challenging.

Spain is one of the leading European countries when it comes topara surfing, with it’s own national league. There is still a long way to go to make surfing an inclusive sport open to everyone but we are heading the right direction.

Location

Fuerteventura (Spain)

Category

Inclusion

Since 2020, surfing is an official Olympic sport. The LA 2028 Olympic Games have applied for para surfing to be included in those games. However, Para Surfing has not been chosen. Leaving the hopes for Brisbane 2032. That would be a gamechanger, making para surfing accessible to a lot more funds, increasing the speed of the progress of the sport.

NOMB Changer Involviert

The story of Christopher

In June 2022, founder Angie met local para surfer Christopher Fernandéz in our homebase island Fuerteventura. Christopher had been training with the local surfclub Fuerte Tribu for the past 5 years. Cris is a very competitive person and really likes to challenge himself.

When he was only one year old, he fell from the 7th floor of a building, and suffered severe physical and mental traumas. According to his mum, the doctors said that he might not even be able to walk growing up. But Cris was so determined, he pushed through everything thrown into his direction.

In 2022, he made the decision to take his surfing a step further and start competing on the national circuit. Surf club owner Pili Beneito turned to founder Angie for help. Angie is a very experienced surf coach and a ISA certified judge for surfing competitions. Her experience and competitive knowledge were the perfect mix to support Christopher with the advice and training he needed.

Angie did have to learn a lot more about para surfing. She started by putting herself in Christophers shoes: she tried to catch waves not being able to apply pressure to her right arm, having an overall reduced mobility and struggling with her balance because she couldn’t put weight on her front leg. The result of this test left her speechless, and in sheer admiration for Christopher to be able to surf at the level he does.

Christopher and Angie trained weekly to prepare for the two contests held here on the Canary Islands in 2022:

  • One the first one, Promesas de Surf, held in July 2022 in Playa Blanca, Fuerteventura, Christopher placed 2nd.
  • In the second contest, LPA Open City, in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria in December 2022 Christopher obtained the third place, in ocean conditions that were very challenging.

How we support Christopher

With all this success under his belt Christopher was determined to keep competing. He changed the surf club and now trains with Play&Train, an association which ‘believes in sports as a tool for social inclusion through fun and effort’. After Angie had passed on Cris training to another coach in 2023, (due to personal commitments), she is back in 2024 to train weekly with Christopher.

Angie created an extensive coaching plan for Christopher, who was aiming at competing a the LPA Open City No Limits in June 2024 in Gran Canaria. Supported by professional physiotherapist Anne Kubsch, Cris is working hard on mobilizing the right side of his body. He joines a swim class twice a week to enhence his endurance, abdominal strength and mobility.

During the LPA Open City No Limits, which was held as an international competition for the first time, Cris managed to get into the cuarter finals. He shredded through two difficult heats with very tough competiton. After a small recovery break we will resume training here in Fuerte. 

We have already managed to get a new wetsuit donated for Christopher (thanks to Freshsurf Cotillo) and are looking for donations to keep pushing Christopher’s training. In 2022 we have managed to raise over 750 € to support Christophers contests and equipment repairs. 

Would you like to help? Donate to Christopher

Every donation not only supports the practical aspects of para surfing but also sends a message of solidarity and respect towards the aspirations of athletes with disabilities. It’s more than just funding—it’s about empowering individuals and supporting a community that values inclusiveness and resilience.

Here’s where your donations can go:

  • Competition Entry Fees: Surfing competitions are exciting opportunities for growth, recognition, and community building. Your donations help cover entry fees for para surfing competitions, enabling our athlete to showcase his skills and spirit on a bigger stage without financial burden.
  • Equipment Acquisition: Adaptive surfing requires specialized equipment that can be costly. Donations contribute to purchasing high-quality, adaptive surfboards and other necessary gear that enhance the safety and experience of our surfers.
  • Travel Expenses: Coach Angie and physiotherapist Anne donate their time to support Christopher during the competition. We cover their travel expenses to enable both to work carefree.

Every contribution, no matter the size, makes a profound impact. Thanks for your support.

By donating to us you will be a part of making Cris dream come true. Please note that we are currently collecting donations without a project specific purpose. This gives us the opportunity to use the funds available flexibly and to realise as many projects as possible. However, in the next step we give you the opportunilty to let us know that your heart beats for our para surf training. If you feel like you want to join our mission longterm, please sign up for a membership and become a NOMB Changer. We will be delighted to have you!

Donations are currently not tax-deductible. If you would like to donate amounts larger >200€, please contact us beforehand. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!

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How to help as a business or organization

For businesses and organizations looking to sponsor or partner with us, please reach out for more detailed information on how we can work together.