Shaun helps raise funds for 9 Miles

The local surfing community is not the same since the visit of surfing legend Shaun Tomson recently to the Kommetjie Christian Hall. A total of R53 440 was raised for the 9 Miles Project in Strandfontein from ticket sales and an auction.

Tomson is an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker, author and filmmaker and his talk in Kommetjie was called “Surfer’s Code – 12 Simple Lessons for Riding through Life”.

He was born and raised in Durban, but has spent the last 20 years living in California. He makes an annual pilgrimage to Jeffreys Bay for the Corona Open and uses this opportunity to deliver his talk to schools around the country.

“Shaun has taken lessons that he has learnt from his life as a pro surfer and former world champion and applied them to everyday life. The talk is about how to turn hope into action and how to live a powerful and meaningful life,” says Tereza Rayment, manager of the Kommetjie Surf Shop.

Shaun was in Jeffreys Bay when Ant Tulleken from Kommetjie bumped into him and they started talking about his last visit to Kommetjie when he won the Spur Steak Ranch Surfabout in 1986 (which used to be an event on the world pro surf league).

“Ant suggested that Shaun could come to Kommetjie for a visit and the next thing we know Shaun was on the phone to the Kommetjie Surf Shop and we were organising the event.

“Shaun chose that all proceeds from the ticket sales go to the 9 Miles Project. The 9 Miles Project is a registered non-profit organisation that was founded in Cape Town in 2013. The project works with youth in coastal informal settlements and aims to provide mentorship and support to the at-risk youth in the areas of Cape Town, Elands Bay and St Francis Bay. Based at Strandfontein Pavilion, the project is a haven and refuge for youth who have very few positive role models in their lives,” Rayment says.

Other celebrities that have visited Kommetjie in the past include surfers Grant Twiggy Baker, Greg Long, Chris Bertish, Jordy Smith, Titch Paul, Richard Wall and Mark Prevost. Some members of the Kardashian family also visited last year and the Swedish-American actor Joel Kinnaman (Robocop) visit the Kommetjie Surf Shop.

“We are planning events throughout the year, always listening to what the community has to say and wishes to hear. Our next little event will be a surf workshop held by surf coach Llewellyn Whittaker in collaboration with Captain Fin taking place on Friday 3 August at 19:00, and at the end of the year we will be premiering a big surfing documentary called Satori, directed by Richard Wall.

“One of the obstacles that we are experiencing in our communities is that although they are living side by side, they are still very segregated. It is always on our mind to reach out beyond our own community and also support smaller projects closer to Kommetjie. There is, for example, Lukas Mueller who in the name of an organisation called All Nations runs a programme called ‘Hope Town Surf’ and is taking kids from Ocean View every Friday to teach them first to swim and then to surf,” she says.

The Surf Shop assists them with boards and wetsuits.

“The happiness generated with surfing is endless – it provides a happy space in the minds of the children and teenagers who learn to surf. It is only a small grain but as Shaun Tomson says: ‘You drop a stone, it creates a ripple that turns into a wave someone will ride’.

“Surfing has always been a main pillar in the Kommetjie community and we would like to use our knowledge and reserves to help spread a little love and happiness beyond our own walls. Anyone is more than welcome to come and visit us. Apart from being a core surf shop we organise individual or group surf lessons no matter what your level of surfing is or how old or young you are,” she says.

“We were able to organise wine and beer from Trizanne Signature Wines and Jack Black Beer – donations for this generated about R6500. Rod Torr, owner of Kommetjie Surf Shop, called Spider Murphy in Durban (Safari Boards) and asked him to shape a replica of the original Pink Banana on which Shaun Tomson won the 1975 Pipe Masters in Hawaii – this board was auctioned for R23 000 at the end of the talk and handed over to German resident Michael Dorn who was the highest bidder. Without their generous donations we would not have been able to raise the R53 440 for the 9 Miles Project.”

V Call Tereza Rayment on 021 783 4804.