Freedom Surf School, located in Tramore, Co. Waterford, offers a huge variety of outdoor activities. Among those available in Irish are surfing lessons, team challenges, blokarting, land yachting, body boarding and eco hikes.
“I started the surf school because I wanted to share my passion for this amazing sport with everyone and to tell them about the natural amenity that’s all around us in Ireland,” says Billy Butler, founder of Freedom Surf School, speaking recently to Nuachtlitir Ghaelchultúir.
Colmán Mac Séalaigh, one of the presenters of the programme Ponc XL on TG4, visited Freedom Surf School recently and tried out some of the Irish language activities offered by the school. To see the clip, click on the play button in the video below.
Colmán stayed upright for a few short moments, but do people generally manage to get to grips with the basic skills of surfing in the first lesson?
“Learners really have a lot of fun throughout the whole lesson, even if they don’t manage to stand up on the board. But, believe it or not, about 70% of people manage to stand on the board in the first lesson!” says Butler.
Tramore, he says, is one of the best places in which to learn how to surf. Due to its location in the south east, it gets medium-sized waves that suit learners, and the blue flag beach is extremely safe, with no rocks, rips or currents.
Speaking about the provision of the Surf School’s activities through Irish, Butler says: “We decided to offer our activities through Irish after a visit from a Gaelscoil in 2009. The principal of the school said that it was very difficult to find activities such as ours offered through the Irish language. We had a fluent speaker working with us at the time and we decided to translate all our activities into Irish and employ more activity instructors who spoke the language. I took up the challenge of learning it myself and our team of Irish speakers is expanding to meet the demand for our Irish Language Activity Programmes.
“Now adults, families and community groups get the opportunity to enjoy Irish in a relaxed, fun way. We’re breaking down barriers by explaining to others that we’re still only learning the language, so they don’t need to worry and can have a go, too.”
For more information about Freedom Surf School, please click here. These are the school’s contact details:
(051) 386 773
(086) 391 4908