Gromblitz is a great #localislekker initiative spearheaded by Annie van der Merwe and Willem van Rijswijck that teaches lighties from Missionvale to surf and skateboard.
Can you tell us a bit about Gromblitz and how it started?
We started in February 2016. We are a bit different to the other great initiatives, inasmuch as we have targeted a small group of OVC kids (Orphans and Vulnerable Children) from the Missionvale area. Together with our main funder, the Mandela Bay Development Agency, we decided to “target” 5 kids. The plan was to grow the concept though the kids “Sphere of Influence”. We now have a core group of about 12 kids and end up with around 20 at each intervention.
Besides the surfing and skateboarding, is there a deeper focus?
Our pillars are:
Surfing and skateboarding are both probably rather foreign activities to the kids you work with. I am guessing there must be some funny stories to relate!?
Quite a few. They’re kids and kids do nutty things. SA Club Champs in St Francis was quite a hoot. Get to the backline quickly before the hooter apparently meant paddling to Australia. The whole gang and us hopping up and down trying to call him back…. Anyway, what happens at Gromblitz ……
Any success stories?
We have seen vast improvements in their confidence, school marks, and interaction with others
How often do you host workshops for the kids?
We try to get together at least twice a week. We are sometimes stymied by the weather and transport issues. We also like to include visits museums and other local attractions
Who all is involved in the program?
We are fortunate to have great support from Mandela Bay Development Agency, Missionvale Care Centre, The Boardroom, Twizza, Body Fuel Express, Pam Golding, Surf Centre, SummerBreezz Spar, Family Terence, Beershack, Borer Beetle and Floor Sanding Services. We are very grateful to all, and in particular to those who assist with coaching.
Gotto love how PE peeps just get on with doing good stuff under the radar. Anyone who'd like to help out with the program, in terms of sponsorship, logistics or man power, please get in touch with Willem on firstname.lastname@example.org