31 October, 2019 31 October, 2019

Transformed S2 EP2 ft. Sentinel Ocean Alliance

Transformed is a multi-part documentary series hosted by South African Shaun Tomson, 1977 World Surfing Champion, that showcases how surfing can change lives and cultures all over the globe. The first season of Transformed launched in August 2019 and is now back by popular demand to tell three new stories from South Central, Los Angeles; Kingston Jamaica and Cape Town, South Africa.

South African Big Wave surfer Frank Solomon has started a non-profit called Sentinel Ocean Alliance for the purpose of empowering kids (boys and girls) to lead a better life by teaching them how to surf.  For many of the kids in the program, a life of poverty and crime is the only path forward and with Sentinel Ocean Alliance, Frank is hoping to make a difference in their lives by keeping them in the water and off the streets.  This year SOA won Sports Charity of the Year from the Provincial Sport Federation of South Africa and Frank hopes to add a classroom and a curriculum of some sort the program in the coming years.


(Zag) Who reached out to you from WSL, how did you get linked up to produce this episode?

(Frank) It was actually my sponsors, Hurley. I was meeting with them in California and showed them a little Video about my school. We chatted about designing some products around my Non-Profit Sentinel Ocean Alliance. My team manager Brandon Guilmette then mentioned the non – profit to WSL and it went from there.
Been a wild ride I’m sure, we’ve been tracking your progress from the start until now. Personally, when you reflect back on it how do you feel?
I wonder why it took me so long to do something (laughs). Chasing waves around the world is awesome but it’s a pretty selfish pursuit. It’s just you getting waves and photos for your self and sponsors and I am eternally grateful that it’s my job but I really wanted to do something a little more meaningful. Looking back I’m stoked what’s happened so far, has only been a couple of years and we have had a lot of progress. It really is so easy in South Africa to help others as we have so many who need help.
What’s your hope for the guys and girls who make use of S.O.A?
I hope they become surfers or lifeguards, learning as they go hopefully carving their way to a better future for themselves so that further down the line they truly prosper.  I’m hoping that falling in love with the ocean they will become custodians of it.
What’s the take-home message, what do you want people viewing this to learn? 
I guess that it’s so easy to have a positive impact. I have never done anything like this before and have no idea what I am doing just kind of learning as I go. But I really feel that if all the people in SA stop moaning about the government and crime and all the negatives and just accept the real truths regarding privilege, the income gap etc and focus on helping others less fortunate than us we could live in a completely different country. 

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