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Tim Conibear, who left the Dragon School in 1995, has received the 'Sport for Good Award' at the prestigious 2017 Laureus Awards held in Monaco. In an event that saw Usain Bolt and Nico Rosberg receive awards, Tim was honoured for his Surf Therapy programmes for township children in South Africa.
For many years surfers in Cape Town, like Gary Kleynhans, have given children from troubled backgrounds the opportunity to learn to surf and discover life, and success, beyond city streets and troubled townships. Some programmes, like 'Umthombo' in Durban, have successfully integrated surfing with programmes to help children escape homelessness.
Tim, an Ashoka fellow, has taken surfing as a route out of trauma to a new scale, working with 1000 children in five centres in South Africa and one in Liberia. The programmes have been positively rated through academic assessment and are receving internaional exposure.
The project has a twitter feed, or search social media for #SurfTherapy.
Fittingly, the patron of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation was Nelson Mandela, who once said 'sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair.' Tim has proven this to be true for hundreds of young people from traumatised township communities.