Surfing to Success

Posted on 1st June 2012

Following analysis of one of their surf programmes, sustainable surf school Global Boarders have been awarded funding from mental health charity Mind to evaluate their new Beach School project.

Over the last year Global Boarders have worked closely with the European Centre to evaluate another of their programmes, Surf to Success.

This surf based intervention runs over a period of 12 weeks and has been developed to target young people who have been excluded, or are at risk of exclusion from main stream schooling. These participants are aged between 13 and 16 and represent a group with high risk of developing mental health problems.

Dr Mathew White from the Centre, along with Amanda Hignett and Dr Sabine Pahl at Plymouth University, analysed data from pupils who had engaged with the programme and found improvements in a number of health and wellbeing measures. Participants became physically fitter after the 12 week programme, whilst satisfaction in social areas such as friendships – and attitudes towards free time – markedly improved.

As well as evaluating the Beach School programme, the new funding from Mind will allow the European Centre to provide economic analysis at Global Boarders, providing an idea of the social return on investment from their work.

Dr Mathew White said “Our analysis has suggested that participants in the Surf to Success became physically fitter, happier in two of the most important life domains for this age-group (appearance and friendship) and more connected to, and better behaved at, school. These findings may have important implications for mental health and we’re delighted to be able to go on and explore the wider implications of Global Boarders’ interventions“.

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