contributing source: Rip Curl
Kuta, Bali – Professional surfer, star of Hollywood blockbuster Soul Surfer and shark-attack survivor, Bethany Hamilton led a surf lesson for unprivileged children from orphanages including Benih Harapan Orphanage in Bali on Friday. Kids ranging in age from 8 to 13 joined global icon and role model Hamilton for an afternoon of fun and surfing at Legian Beach in Kuta.
Hamilton, 22, who is currently in Bali preparing to surf in the 2012 Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang Invitational (July 15 – August 26), helped the kids catch the small inside white-water waves on longboards all afternoon. She provided instruction on basic ocean safety, environmental awareness and the fundamentals of surfing. She also inspired the kids to follow their dreams and make their passions reality with her incredible story. After the surfing lesson, the kids were treated to lunch and a photo opportunity with Hamilton at the Rip Curl School of Surf.
“It was a special day for me to be able to share surfing with these kids,” Hamilton said. “I hope it’s something they can continue to do for the rest of their lives. I know they’ve been through a lot at such a young age. Hopefully surfing can be a positive outlet for these kids as they continue to grow up.”
The surf lesson was a joint effort by the Rip Curl School of Surf and Soul Surf Project Bali, a group that connects underprivileged youth in Bali with surfing equipment and lessons. Hamilton and Rip Curl also donated basic food supplies including sacks of Rice, Noodles and Milk plus five surfboards to Soul Surf Project Bali to use for future lessons and surf outings.
After the surf lesson, Hamilton met with fans and signed autographs at the Rip Curl Memorial Store on Jalan Legian in Kuta. The turnout was unexpectedly big, over 500 fans packed the store and stopped traffic on the busy street, hoping to meet one of the most inspirational surfers of all time. Hamilton said she was amazed by the turnout and support from her many fans in Bali.
“It was amazing to see all the people who came out today,” Hamilton said. “I was expecting it to be pretty low-key, but there were so many more people than I expected. Everyone in Bali is so passionate about surfing. It’s great to see.”
For more information go to the Rip Curl Cup event website at: http://asia.ripcurl.com/padangcup1.