Surf's up as Cornish school spreads the word
Teachers working in one of the world's surfing capitals are set to put the sport on the timetable of schools around the country.
Cornish pupils have been taught to ride waves for almost a decade - but now Treviglas Community College in Newquay has become the first school in the UK to offer training to teachers, who will then go on to run lessons for pupils elsewhere.
It is hoped the venture will enable hundreds more to take up the sport and put paid to the widespread health and safety fears that often stop children receiving surfing coaching in school.
Treviglas, the only school to be accredited with the British Surfing Association (BSA), has had a Surf Academy for seven years. It was set up to reduce the number of pupils leaving without going on to further education, employment or training.
The school claims that none of its leavers now go on to become Neets. The 20 students in the academy study for A-levels as well as surfing and organising sports events and are then guaranteed a place at Plymouth University to study surf science.
The courses, open to teachers and pupils for a "nominal" fee, will also be offered to the local community.
"This qualification offers fantastic opportunities," said assistant head Thomas Wilson, a qualified instructor and keen surfer.
"Graduates can open up their own surf school, so it provides job opportunities for our pupils. Teachers who take it will then be allowed to take children out surfing and on other activities where a professional lifeguard is needed.
"Surf instructing is life and death and you really need to engage with students, so I think this qualification will be very useful for them personally as well as allowing them to widen the curriculum in their school.
"We are bringing surf coaching, which is a very big part of our local industry, and education together and that's got to be good for all of us."
This is the first time the BSA has allowed a school to offer instructor and lifeguard assessor courses.
"Becoming an assessor will enrich the whole process for them (the students). It gives them a trade, new skills and they will immediately be able to get involved with our local industry," Mr Wilson said.
"Instructing is a really hard job, you are responsible for someone's life, so it provides our students and any teachers who do the course with valuable experience."