Volunteer Kathryn braves rain to support ‘surf therapy’ charity The Wave Project

Wave Project Kathryn Chalk

Wave Project Kathryn Chalk - Credit: Archant

Goodrington beach is home to The Wave Project which provides children with 'surf therapy'. KATHRYN CHALK writes about her work with the charity and her fundraising half-marathon success:

Kathryn Chalk

Kathryn Chalk - Credit: Archant

It's March 15, 2020, the day of the Bath Half Marathon. The UK weather is at its finest – raining, tension is in the air and I am feeling the excitement as I stand nervously at the start line ready to embark on my longest run of my life for The Wave Project.

In 2018, I moved from Hertfordshire to Exeter where I was introduced to the surf therapy charity The Wave Project; a charity that helps young people who are struggling to grow confidence through surfing and most importantly to have fun.

Just the thought of it brought a tear to my eye so there and then I signed myself up as a volunteer and haven't looked back since.

I am part of the South Devon group with sessions running in Goodrington, Bigbury and are new location in Sidmouth.

Kathryn Chalk at the Bath Half

Kathryn Chalk at the Bath Half - Credit: Archant

Working one-to-one with a young person means you are able to build a trust and a bond with them, catching waves together or simply sitting on a surf board and chatting about life.

I have created many memories and friendships from the project that when I saw a notification about signing up for the Bath Half Marathon I knew I wanted to do it and raise money for the awesome charity.

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It's winter 2020, training is in full swing, I reach over my fundraising target of £200 and the UK winter storms begin. First is Storm Ciara, where I get blown about while trying to fit in a long Sunday run and, a week later, followed by Storm Dennis.

My partner dragged me out of the house while everyone was cosy inside to run the 7km I needed to do that day, drenched was an understatement but there is something quite enduring about it.

It's race day, I check the forecast and it's raining all day, 'not to worry' I thought, seeing as I had just been training in the wettest February on record. I pin my number to my Wave Project top, receive my final good luck from my parents and boyfriend and wave goodbye as I follow the crowd to the start line, Three, two, one and we are off.

One hour, 59 minutes and 55 seconds later and we have crossed the finish line and the fundraising total I hear you ask... £645.65 towards The Wave Project!