Breaking The Barrier

Breaking the Barrier addresses the very real need for sporting opportunities that cater to children and young adults with learning difficulties. There are very few such options for people with special needs, and even less where such children and young adults can take part alongside non-special needs people.

Breaking the Barrier is a means to change, and does indeed, break down the obstacles that have historically prevented children with autism or learning difficulties from learning how to surf and thereafter enjoying the sport in the long-term. Breaking the Barrier introduces autistic and learning disabled children to surfing.

We have held free one-day events all over the country, hosted by a network of surf schools. We’ve never had to publicise these events, as word of mouth brings hundreds of families to our doorstep. In 2009, we organised 6 surfing events in Wales, Kent, Norfolk, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall and were able to offer surfing to over 800 young people. Events are not intended to provide formal lessons, but rather offer the thrill of actually riding, and where possible, standing on a surfboard as it catches a wave with a specialist surfing instructor riding in tandem.

The events are the means to break down barriers – social barriers, obstacles brought about due to disability, a lack of confidence, and/or affordability.

This film was produced to help Lifeworks promote Breaking The Barrier by Bucy McDonald and Jeremy Neech.