Wave pool to host World Ocean Day for Schools
For the first time since it began, World Ocean Day for Schools (8 June) will have a physical home – at The Wave in Bristol. The event will still run as an online festival, as it has for the last 5 years, but in addition, there will be a day of surfing and immersive workshop experiences for selected groups of children who would not normally be able to easily access the benefits of water and waves.
World Ocean Day for Schools is a global day of celebration and experiential learning for students to explore what becoming an ocean advocate means to them. It provides teachers with the inspiration, free resources and activities to engage children in an exciting conversation about the ocean and climate change.
The online event will include an assembly hosted by wildlife filmmaker, marine biologist and ocean conservationist, Inka Cresswell, a program of live lessons, ‘plug & play’ workshops and short films to watch.
The event at The Wave will be a chance to create an even bigger impact. Not only will around 100 children have the opportunity to surf and experience first-hand the benefits of blue space, but for every 5 waves that break that day, World Ocean Day for Schools will plant a mangrove with SeaTrees whose mission is to ‘reforest the ocean’. As well as the daytime event for the selected school children, there will also be an evening of short ocean films that will be open for anyone to attend.
“In 2022 we broadened the World Ocean Day for Schools story, from just an ocean story to a water story – and in doing so, invited schools around the world to identify their local blue space, spend time connecting to it and begin to build a plan to protect it,” said Linzi Hawkin from Protect Blue, the team that runs World Ocean Day for Schools. “This was a real success and helped non-coastal schools to better connect with World Ocean Day. Partnering with The Wave allows us to build on this, creating an incredible ‘blue’ experience for children that wouldn’t normally have access to it, and sparking curiosity about the ocean. We’re really excited to be collaborating with The Wave to help inspire a new generation of ocean advocates.”
Founder of The Wave Nick Hounsfield noted the similarities between the ocean and his facility in Bristol.
“We know that if people enjoy spending time in and around water, and if they feel the health benefits of doing that, they are more likely to care about protecting it,” said Nick. “An ethos that we share with World Ocean Day for Schools. Being able to bring in groups of inner-city children to experience the positive power of water and waves with us, and be inspired by the interactive and creative workshops, is just brilliant. I’d like to think that we can create ripples of interest in the ocean that will spread and grow into waves of action for the future.”
While Bristol will be the home for World Ocean Day for schools in the UK, at the same time there will be an event taking place in Lisbon, Portugal – with surf lessons and creative workshops hosted for at-risk youth with Portuguese non-profit, Wave by Wave.