Awe is defined as the feeling of wonder and reverence mixed with feelings of fear when experiencing something vast. Our world has plenty to admire, but nothing inspires awe quite like the ocean does.
Surfing is often seen as a hobby, a passion, or something to check off a bucket list while on vacation, not many people associate the beloved watersport with therapy.
Chris Antao is competing with the best of the best as his surf based program, Gnome Surf, has been making noise throughout the country. The mission at Gnome Surf is to create a cultural shift toward kindness, love, and acceptance for all kids of all abilities regardless of socio-economic status. Dreaming of a world where acceptance and kindness are the norm for individuals with special abilities, Gnome provides a place where athletes are free to be exactly who they are.
The nonprofit has raised the bar for surf therapy by putting together a world class research team, comprised of neurologists, doctors, researchers, and activists. Together, they define and implement therapeutic programming, collect data from athletes, and analyze the effects of surf therapy to advance the cause for every individual. For Gnome, connection is the key to impact. They offer one-on-one surf lessons, as well as small camps that never exceed 15 athletes. Intimate settings allow for bonds to be stronger, better friendships to be built, and trust to be gained.
Over 2300 families have been impacted by the power of Gnome and the number keeps growing. This could not be accomplished without the 100+ volunteers that help put an endless smile on the faces of athletes.
Chris Antao discovered the healing powers of surfing while growing up on the shores of Portugal. His life was changed and he felt obligated to share this form of therapy with the world. He faced many struggles as a child that made it difficult for him to fit in and make friends, though he is not autistic, he saw parallels between the journeys. Chris is determined to help eliminate pain from the lives of children that are seen as different.
We have the honor of creating custom boards for Gnome Surf that are specific to their needs. Our boards allow the connection to exceed beyond the athlete and the volunteer, Focus brings harmony and comfort between the athlete and the ocean. Through our design, we assure trust to the user to make their experience an anxiety free ride. From Costa Rica to Rhode Island, Focus SUP Hawaii comes along for the journey as Gnome Surf heals children around the world.
Gnome provides creative ways for humans of all ages and backgrounds to benefit from the ocean. Ongoing struggles of mental and physical health that once seemed irremediable have been reduced and managed through their unique surf program. Providing clarity is a gift that changes lives, Gnome manages to do just that while also creating memories that will last forever.
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