Charity Spotlight: Ocean Heroes

Jul 23 2018

By: Luke Hallam – Shenton Park Trainer

Ocean Heroes is a charity that aims to enhance the lives of those living with autism through surfing. Luke, who is the Co-Founder and Director of Ocean Heroes, is a PT who specialises in working with people on the autism spectrum.

Luke noticed that while a majority of his clients were physically capable, none had tried surfing before. After fundraising to bring an American Charity to Perth for a very successful autism surfing event, Luke teamed up with friends Sam and Bomber to start Ocean Heroes, having also trialled an event in May 2017.

Ocean Heroes runs monthly surfing events for all people on the autism spectrum. We have up to 150 participants and 60 volunteers helping at each event.
Each participant is teamed up with an Ocean Heroes surfer and has a one-on-one surfing experience for 30 minutes.
Ocean Heroes is helping to uplift the lives of so many people in a number of ways.

People on the autism spectrum often struggle with social skills.

Ocean Heroes provides a safe place for people with autism to come down, try something new and be surrounded by understanding and caring people. The community Ocean Heroes was created for the families, participants and volunteers has been of great benefit for all.

Exercise is vitally important for everyone, but people with autism are often excluded from school/team sport

Surfing is a great way to exercise. It is great for your core, balance and cardiovascular fitness while also offering enjoyment from being outdoors and in the sunshine.

The ocean has therapeutic benefits

The ocean and surfing is being used by the US army to treat former servicemen and women with PTSD. Many people on the autism spectrum suffer from anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions. While the benefits aren’t fully uncovered, current studies are measuring the difference that the ocean and surfing can make to endorphin, dopamine and cortisol levels. Watch this space!

Ocean Heroes has taken over 1700 people on the autism spectrum surfing in WA since 2017. The program is so popular that when registrations open, 150 spots usually book out in 5 minutes!

Ocean Heroes is a hands-on charity. Volunteers often comment on how good they feel after helping out at an Ocean Heroes event. To see the smiles on the participants faces and the tears of joy from their parents is an overwhelming experience.

Anyone can come and help out at Ocean Heroes; even if you don’t surf, you can lend a hand on the beach. If you would like to get involved, get in touch via our Facebook page or Instagram.
If you would like to donate to Ocean Heroes, please head to our givenow page.


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