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Surfers take children with special needs surfing in Virginia Beach for therapy

Posted at 3:00 PM, Sep 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-30 16:25:59-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Children with special needs who are scared of the ocean conquered their fear of being in water all thanks to surfing.

Surf professionals had children ride the waves with them in what they call "surf therapy" at Sandbridge Beach, WTKR reports.

The event was put on by A Walk On Water, a California-based organization that uses the power of the ocean and surfing as therapy to calm and rejuvenate children.

The organization hosted these events across the country for eight years.

Sean Swentek, the organization's executive director, said he still gets emotional when he sees a child transformed.

"There was a child here today who was deathly afraid, and it took hours of cajoling to dip a toe in the water," Swentek said. "By the time he caught his first wave, the kid had the biggest smile on his face and didn't want to get out of the water. It's an incredible transformation that you witness."

This was their second year at Sandbridge. Roughly 45 families participated in the event.