Ron Jon Surf Shop and Special Olympics Florida Continue the First Ever Surf Program as Special Olympics Athletes Take to the Waves
What began in the summer of 2010 as a trial surf program within Brevard County quickly grew to encompass counties all around the state of Florida, bringing the gift of surfing to the delight of many Special Olympics athletes. It all started when Ron Jon Surf Shop, through its affiliated Ron Jon Surf School, partnered with Special Olympics Florida to bring surf instruction as well as the culture and lifestyle of surfing to a group of Special Olympics athletes. In 2011, athletes from Duval, Martin, Broward and Seminole joined the program. The surf program continues to grow, and this year's competition included athletes from Nassau, Orange, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties.
For the fourth year in a row, the summer surf program concluded with a Statewide Competition between all participating counties at Shepard Park in Cocoa Beach, FL. On September 14th, 2013 nearly 100 Special Olympics athletes paddled into the waves for the fourth annual Statewide Competition. The surf was ideal, and the sun was shining along with the smiling faces of all the participants and their families. Crowds of spectators gathered to cheer on athletes, and volunteers lent their support by helping athletes back to their instructors out in the water. The day ended with a closing ceremony where athletes were awarded medals for their outstanding performances. Ron Jon Surf Shop and Special Olympics Florida look forward to next year’s program with hopes that it will continue to expand to additional counties and bring surfing to the lives of many more Special Olympics athletes.
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Scenes from the 2013 Event