Ron Jons Hosts Special Olympics Surfing Program

By  //  September 8, 2012

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SPECIAL OLYMPICS

BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA – The Special Olympics Florida and Ron Jon Surf Shop Surfing program has continued to grow in Brevard County and this year 29 Special Olympics athletes participated in the sanctioned surfing activities and instruction in Cocoa Beach.

he Special Olympics Florida and Ron Jon Surf Shop Surfing program has continued to grow in Brevard County and this year 29 Special Olympics athletes participated in the sanctioned surfing activities and instruction in Cocoa Beach. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

The Brevard County athletes participate in the surfing program on Cocoa Beach behind the Ron Jon Surf School. The program includes surfing instruction and education for the Special Olympics athletes who range in age from 13 to 35. The athletes participate in a series of weekly lessons to help them hone their skills and build on their experiences.

The program includes safety orientation, one-on-one interaction between the Special Olympics athletes and the experienced team of professionals from Ron Jon Surf School and some relaxation and fun on the beach.

“Surfers consider themselves members of a family, and that family welcomes people from all walks of life,” said Craig Carroll, founder of Ron Jon Surf School and creator of the Special Olympics surfing program.

Special Olympics Florida and Ron Jon Surf Shop launched the overall surfing program in 2010 in Cocoa Beach with a group of eight athletes from Brevard County.

The Brevard County Special Olympics surfing program is sponsored by Ron Jon Surf Shop.

“Surfers consider themselves members of a family, and that family welcomes people from all walks of life,” said Craig Carroll, founder of Ron Jon Surf School and creator of the Special Olympics surfing program.

“As we have witnessed first-hand throughout this program, those with intellectual disabilities have been accepted as part of the surfing culture and embraced and encouraged in their efforts.”

Monty Castevens

The program has continued to grow each year, and in 2012, more than 100 athletes will participate around the state. The surfing program culminates with a State Surfing Championship which is held in Cocoa Beach annually in September.

“Our athletes have once again shattered the stereotype of what people with intellectual disabilities are capable of,” said Special Olympics Florida President Monty Castevens.

“Our partnership with Ron Jon Surf Shop has set in motion something that has great potential to benefit many, many more Special Olympics athletes, like those in Brevard County, all while giving them the skills to enjoy the sport of surfing with their friends, families, and the broader surfing community, for the rest of their lives.”

About Special Olympics Florida: Special Olympics Florida provides year-round sports training and competition to children and adults with intellectual disabilities, at no cost to the athlete or their caregiver, as a means to achieve physical fitness, self-esteem, socialization skills, and the life skills necessary to be a productive, respected and contributing members of their communities. To learn more, visit www.specialolympicsflorida.org.

About Ron Jon Surf Shop: Ron Jon Surf Shop was founded in 1959 by surfing enthusiast Ron DiMenna. Two years later, he opened a tiny oceanside shop in Long Beach Island, N.J. The lifestyle-apparel and board-sports-equipment retailer has since opened stores in Cocoa Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, Ft. Myers, Key West, Clearwater Beach, Panama City Beach, Fla., as well as Myrtle Beach, S.C. The flagship store in Cocoa Beach is the world’s largest surf shop. It operates
24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


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