Image taken from the Nine Mile Project’s Facebook page
About a week ago, on the 8th and 9th of April 2017, the non-profit community organisation in Strandfontein, Nine Miles Project celebrated their fourth Annual Surf Challenge Family Day. It started at 9am at Strandfontein Pavilion in Cape Town. Friends and family of the community came together, to experience different mediums of creative art and most importantly, to ignite the interest of surfing to the youth through volunteering and mentorship.
The Nine Miles Project was founded by Nigel Savel, as indicated on the organization’s official website. He grew up in the community of Strandfontein, which is known for high levels of drug and other criminal related social conditions. Two years before the establishment of the project, Nigel moved out of the area and when he returned, he found deterioration of the youth in the community. A number of young people had become fallen victims of drugs and destructive lifestyles. In 2013, he started the Nine Mile Project with the purpose and intention of breaching the gap and bringing hope and support to a lost generation.
Surfing was one of Nigel’s passions at a very early stage of his life. He used surfing as an escape from the difficult and unhelpful social conditions of his community because it taught him valuable principles of discipline, focus and commitment. His desire to see his peers breakaway from toxic influences, make good choices and pursue a positive lifestyle, is the primary reason he started the Surf project. It empowers and directs young people on a path that will only improve their lives. It will assist them in coping with their tough social conditions and equip them with the life skills and valuable principles that will help them become positive role models in their community and in society as whole
The Annual Surf Challenge family day celebrated their fourth consecutive year in 2017. The two days involved families and friends getting together having fun and experiencing different mediums of creative arts like different music genres, dance, spoken word and most importantly surfing and other water activities. They were taught the importance of preserving the ocean and beach. A few of the event’s many activities as shown on their Facebook page included the surf challenge, surf lessons, soccer, and environmental awareness and skateboarding.
The fun-filled event aims to not only equip young people with these skills, but for the community as a whole to understand the importance of caring for their environment and connecting, building and more importantly uniting as the community of Strandfontein.
The two-day event, which ended on 9 April 2017, was a great success. The Nine Miles Project event culminated with the launch of their music concert called Acoustic Sunset sessions, which was a great success too.