Hundreds of paddlers will wear FLURO in the UK’s first ever national charity SUP to raise funds and awareness for children’s mental health. Stand-up paddle-boarders across the UK will undertake a paddle wearing fluro to show support for children suffering from mental health conditions, and to raise funds for them to take part in free activities.
The Wave Project SUP4LIFE will take place over 20 locations across the country from the Highlands to Lands End on the weekend of 18-19 July.
Participants will wear fluro garb and paddle along the UK’s canals, lakes, rivers and shoreline for one, three or five miles
The event is expected to attracted over 500 paddlers and raise £50,000 for the not for profit Wave Project, which will be spent on free surfing courses and water activities for disadvantaged children.
Events will be take place across the UK, including in Bristol, Brighton, Cornwall, Southbourne, London Docklands, London Regent’s Canal, Cardiff, Swansea, Snowdonia, Aviemore, Calshott, Bournemouth, Portland, and Eastbourne.
SUPs will take place at multiple locations and be run in partnership with local SUP schools, which have signed up to support the event.
Wave Project SUP4LIFE coordinator Tabitha Kendall-Carpenter said it will be the biggest SUP charity event of the year in the UK. She said: “This is a really exciting event to be part of. SUP is the next big participant sport in the UK and we are stoked to be organising the first ever national charity SUP. We already have more than 20 locations signed up and hope that there will be many more by July. All the money raised will be spent on running free surfing and SUP lessons for children in the UK facing isolation or mental health issues.”
The idea of SUP4LIFE came after the Wave Project organised a fundraising SUP in Regent’s Canal, London, last summer to help fund a surf project for inner city children from the capital.
The event was such a success that it was decided to roll it out as a national event.
Miss Kendall-Carpenter said: “Everyone had such fun at our London SUP that we decided to widen the event and try and reach more people. The hope is that we can raise enough money to run more of our award-winning free surfing and SUP courses for children from across the UK.”
As well as raising awareness of children’s mental health, the event is expected to raise £50,000, which will help over 500 children across the UK access free Wave Project surfing courses.
Clients who take part in the project this year will benefit from a six week surfing course, in which they receive 1:1 coaching and support from local volunteers.
The idea is that courses help young people with their emotional development as well as learning to surf and having fun. The project was set up in Cornwall in 2010, and since then has expanded across the UK.
Founder and chief executive Joe Taylor said: “We have seen over the years how a supportive community doing something fun can really help young people feel more confident and less socially isolated. This means their behaviour improves, they perform better at school or college, and feel happier with their lives.”
Anyone would like to take part in SUP4LIFE should visit www.waveproject.co.uk/SUP4LIFE.