LBKiteboarding Kids in Los Barriles!
Coldwell Banker Riveras has always been involved in social responsibility activities that contribute to the society. Our office in Los Barriles is a proud supporter of LBKiteboarding Kids on the East Cape.
After a really intense, fun and exciting weekend with the Lord of the Wind showdown event (a Kiteboarding & Kitesurfing competition in Los Barriles), we are proud to share information about the program that is helping children enjoy this fascinating event.
LBKiteboarding Kids is a non-profit afterschool program in Los Barriles, started by the owners of ExotiKite Kiteboarding in 2012. Ian Sanders and Megan O’Leary had talked for a number of years about creating an inexpensive and successful way to get local kids into kiteboarding. When a young member of the community tragically passed away as a result of drug use, they put their dream into reality. “We not only want to share our love of kiteboarding but also desired to give local students a positive, healthy, outlet during the afternoon when they are not in school” said Ian.
Wanting to make it a free program, the first thing Megan needed to do was find sponsorship and create programs through ExotiKite Kiteboarding to encourage donations. A portion of ExotiKite’s lessons proceeds and 100% of her SUP Yoga classes went directly to the program. “Once people heard what we were doing, the response was humbling”, said Megan. “We have had people not only donate money, but also their time, used gear, and even putting on classes and events with a portion of their earning going directly to our kids!”
Getting the kids to participate was the easy part. “At the first class we only had about 4 kids, and we were very proud of that. But the next week, we had 16 kids out of the blue! Our instructors were teaching groups of 4 kids at a time. It was crazy to organize and still conduct quality lessons, but absolutely doable and most importantly, incredibly fulfilling” recalled Ian.
Ian has been teaching kiteboarding since 1998 in Los Barriles. He and Megan officially opened ExotiKite Kiteboarding in 2004 and are passionate about giving everyone the opportunity to learn to kiteboard. Megan has also created a local women’s Kiteboarding group through the global non-profit KB4Girls.
“It is awesome to see young girls in the community become interested in our LBKiteboarding Kids program”, said Megan, “I am so passionate about encouraging women to get into Kiteboarding. It isn’t a “power” sport; you need more finesse than strength, making it perfect for women. I hope that some of the girls we have in the program continue on and become ambassadors for women’s sports themselves.”
Students learn from professional, certified instructors. Emphasis on safety and competence before progression is required. Lessons are conducted in Spanish and are completed in a safe and enjoyable manner. They encourage and support responsible, local students to join LBKiteboarding Kids. This afterschool program is completely free to the student and their family.
When the students complete the program they will also have the opportunity to assist with daily operations at the school. “We have a couple of kids from last year helping out at the school, earning a little money, and, in return, they can use our gear to go out and kiteboard on their own. It’s a win-win deal for everyone as far as I can see” finalizes Ian.
If you would like to support LBKiteboarding Kids program and information about ExotiKite and its services, feel free to contact Ian or Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org