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Irish surfer helps Mahabs waveriders get savvy on social media for global connect

Irish surfer Aine Edwards loves to call Mahabalipuram her second home. She is a 9-year-old surfer Kamali Moorthy’s mentor and is a familiar face among the locals there.

Irish surfer helps Mahabs waveriders get savvy on social media for global connect
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Aine Edwards, Sanjay and Sunil

Chennai

After supporting Kamali to become an international star, Aine is now on a new mission and the lockdown served to be the best time to do that. She has been helping 15 young surfers from Mahabalipuram to create better content on their social media accounts so that people from all over the world could see the talent of the surfers. “It all happened two months ago — one day while walking on the beach, I saw surfers in the ocean and it was a beautiful sight. I ran back to my house and got the camera (it was given on loan from a Chennai photographer) to take photographs and videos. They wanted to share those pictures on their social media accounts. So, we set up a Google drive account and made their email addresses useful. Besides social media, they use videos to learn how to improve their surfing. I also taught them how they can make use of social media to connect with people and international surfers,” says Aine.

These youngsters have been learning surfing for the past seven years. Since there aren’t many avenues to showcase their talents, Aine thought that good social media content could attract sponsors. “In today’s world, social media is the best platform to put out skills. People from any part of the world can view the surfers’ talent online and appreciate them. That would bring in a lot of difference. The surfers are putting in a lot of hard work and that shouldn’t go unnoticed.”

Aine also created a hashtag called #Mahabsurfers so that anyone who is visiting Mahabs can take pictures of the surfers and share them with the same hashtag. “We don’t have many surfing competitions in India. But international tournaments are being held every year in Malaysia, Bali and several other countries. The competition these surfers want to get to is the WSL QS in Sri Lanka on September 2021. This is accessible if we can raise funds for surfboards, and travel costs. If they can train somewhere close by like Andamans or Maldives, where we have great waves, it would be really good. As of now, we are doing interviews and videos to help reach out for support as there is no surf club or sponsor supporting them now,” she tells us.

Recently, a sports company in Bengaluru reached out to offer support by sending over rashguards and shorts. “This type of support builds confidence for the surfers that people recognise their talent. It’s important at their age which is formative. Accolades and attention can bring in a lot of difference to a person’s life. Like Kamali, every surfer in Mahabalipuram is talented,” Aine sums up.

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