Local News

School teaches disabled children to surf

Posted August 11, 2010 3:37 p.m. EDT
Updated August 11, 2010 7:02 p.m. EDT

— Elementary school teachers Jack Viorel and Kevin Murphy spend their summers with a surf school in Wrightsville Beach. They figured with a little donated time and equipment, they could reach kids who need a little extra help.

“When you can find a kid who has a disability whether it's blindness or in a wheelchair and bring them out surfing, it kind of gives them the confidence they can do anything,” Murphy said.

Indo Jax Charity Surf Camps offer a chance for disabled and disadvantaged children to learn to surf.

Just like with any beginner, the surf school starts slowly on the sand, but it doesn't take long to get these kids riding waves of happiness.

“The ultimate goal for us is to just make a little change for the positive in these kids’ lives, to know they can set their limits as high as they like,” Murphy said. “In the end, we feel like if we can make a little difference in these kids lives it's a good thing.

“I just think we're a couple of goofballs who found the ocean to be good for us and wanted to share it,” Viorel said.

Murphy said the two love teaching people to surf. “For us, getting kids with disabilities in the water is the easier thing in the world,” Murphy said.

Their job is made even easier with children like Dyan Ocampo, who are willing to take the challenge.

Dyan, 10, learned how to surf at a recent camp, despite being nearly blind.

“It’s like kind of being on the sidewalk, but it’s water,” he said.

The surf camps are held through the fall.

Donations for the camp can be made through the nonprofit group Ocean Cure.