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interview


the power of surfing


In addition to the surfing experience, the development also includes a café and bar serving responsibly sourced food; an education centre for schools and colleges offering surf classes for all abilities; a surf shop; changing facilities and safari tent accommodation. The team is planting 16,000 trees to develop a woodland for forest schools, trail running and other activities. There will also be sensory gardens, growing gardens as well as other open spaces for people to meander through.


Initially, it was quite modest in size, but as our vision grew and the wave-making technology evolved, everything scaled up


The various components all come together to encourage people to get active and reconnect with nature. With his background in surfing, sport, healthcare, policy and strategy development and social impact, it’s something that Hounsfield is passionate about. “Our vision is to create an activity experience that appeals to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, and which positively impacts mental and physical health. We know that being outside in green spaces and water is good for you; surfing feels good for a reason.” To prove the power of surfing, The Wave is working with The Wave Project, a CIC whose evidence-based surf therapy programme is


14 pactfacilities.co.uk


proven to help young people feel less anxious and more positive.


rollout plans


A director at Surfing England for more than four years, Hounsfield has also been integral in setting up British Surfing. He has also been heavily involved in supporting and growing the profile of British adaptive surfing - resulting in the English team winning a record number of medals in last December’s ISA World Adaptive Surf Championships.


It was important therefore that The Wave be fully accessible. Project architects APG consulted with the adaptive surfing community to ensure a seamless experience for all surfers. The Wave will open all year-round hosting schools and colleges, corporates as well as a range of events. The team expect to attract at least 150,000 visitors a year and they are already looking at rolling the concept out to


other locations.


“We believe in the power of surfing to promote and support the idea of living a balanced life. We don’t just think about profit - we also think about the effects we have on people and the planet. This is why we are working to create more inland surfing destinations all over the world. The Wave is about improving health and wellbeing through surfing and having a shedload of fun in the process.”


www.thewave.com paf forum


See Nick Hounsfield at the physical activity facilities forum at Whittlebury Hall in Northamptonshire on 3rd and 4th October 2019. See more details on P10.


Eric Dargent and Benoit Moreau


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