Gloria, known as Lolly to family and friends, learnt to surf with our founder Lizzie. She always tagged along to the beach with Lizzie who took her out in the shallows of the local reef breaks and gave her a board. Last year Lolly started teaching some of the local boys who are her friends and couldn’t surf.
Three years later and Lolly won the girls’s section at Morotai’s first ever surfing competition.
Lolly received particular attention from spectators and journalists who were intrigued to see girls surfing. This was noted by the male surfers and other primary stakeholders, catalysing the beginning of a change in perception of long-held gender roles connected to the ocean. Lolly had a very positive experience and felt proud to represent girls.
She believes in herself. She is challenging gender stereotypes, showing girls can surf, enjoy being in the ocean environment and that there is a place for them.
During and after the competition there have been requests by girls and women for surfing classes and to understand more about a culture of women and the ocean.
We are currently sourcing funding to support setting up Morotai’s first Girls Surf Club upon request from local communities.
Emerging research in evolutionary biology, physiology, neuroscience and cell biology is revealing a revolutionary new understanding of the mind-body connection suggesting that our thoughts and emotions don’t just happen inside our heads, but that the way we move has a profound influence on how we think and feel. Specific ways of moving the body can even be linked to what you want from your mind, whether it be more creativity, improved resilience or higher self-esteem. This research further supports the value of physical exercise and sports for girls and women in improving self-belief, increasing confidence and self-expression. Across remote coastal communities of Indonesia where there are few to any sporting facilities, the ocean provides a free and accessible recreation ground.
Let’s go surfing girls.