Louis and Aiden

In a world first these two legends just passed their Level 1 Surf Coach Award

Louis and Aiden have Autism, learning disabilities as well as other complexities and the ISA have confirmed this is a world first for anyone to have completed their Level 1 surf coach award with such complex learning needs and physical challenges. They have been coached by Tom Butler since he set up Coastal Crusaders CIC in 2019.

“We are stoked with Louis and Aidens progress and achievements and to look back at this time and know we have worked with over 80 Cornish youngsters. We delivering a range of ocean sports to motivate and inspire our local beneficiaries. A big part of what we do at the company is to help engrain more self-esteem and confidence through guided sports and positive feedback, while improving mental and physical health through all of our activities, and two provide education for the youngsters to better understand the ocean and how to remain safe in the ocean and offer some guidance on how best to protect the environment the sports are delivered within. We all know Green and Blue spaces are so important for our Mental Health, all-round vision and we are having amazing results with the youngsters we are working with.”

If you’ve been around Newquay you ave probably seen Tom coaching on the beach with Louis and Aiden.

“Our CIC was contracted through the local authority to deliver for both Louis and Aiden their health and education plan. With the different disabilities and conditions both the young men have, they receive some funding, to help better prepare them for adult life. Tom B has been surf coaching with both men for a number of years previous to this education and training being delivered. Upon consultation with their families and Louis and Aiden themselves we had the idea of having a go at their Isa Surfing Level 1 surf coaching award.

Due to national lockdowns and a pandemic at times Tom was teaching the theory to the guys through two PVC plastic sheets, a face mask, and a visor, so the year definitely had it’s challenges. Tom continues to say,

“Being totally honest, getting out of the house and continuing with this course and routine was really important to my own mental health. It dawned on me half way through the year, that this may be a world first if we can gain this qualification. We are thrilled that the ISA have recognized this massive achievement and hope it inspires more people who have disabilities to get out there and push for qualifications that can open up many more exciting and rewarding opportunities for work and rewarding life experiences.”

Vicky Coxhead, Aidens mum said “I am so immensely proud of Aiden’s achievement. Sport is Aiden’s passion and purpose in life and he is now able to support others like him to experience the freedom of the ocean. Aiden is an incredible role model and is proof that disability or neurodivergence does not stop you from living your very best life.”

Suzanne Sutton Lousies mum said
“It’s hard to put into words how much Tom Butler and Coastal Crusaders have given to Louis and in turn, to us as a family. What they have all achieved over the past year is incredible. To watch Louis and Aiden gain in self worth and belief and as a result, achieve what they have is priceless. Tom and all involved, have given them a purpose & a future by telling them “You can. ” For that we will always be grateful.

Barrie Hall, the ISA course assessor said
“It has been a pleasure and great experience working with Aiden, Louis and Tom from Coastal Crusaders. I am stoked that I have been able to facilitate the ISA / Surfing England level 1 coach course for these guys.

“In my 25 years as a surf coach trainer/assessor, I have never worked with students with such special learning needs. We adapted the programme with a bespoke approach that worked for them, whilst still maintaining standards and the required teaching /learning and assessment process. I am so pleased that these two guys have passed the course and will now go forward to do their practical training hours with supervision from Tom at Coastal Crusaders. This will be a fantastic opportunity for Aiden and Louis to improve their lives and contribute to others learning to surf.”