Surf coach and MS teacher Matt Robinson grew up in San Diego. His love for surfing started in sixth grade at Mesa Verde Middle School where he joined the surf team. Matt loved to surf, but he loved the fellowship he had with his team of friends. Consequently, when MS Principal Dr. Deveau told Matt about his need for a Middle School surf coach, of course he said, “Yes!”
A few years ago, Matt felt God leading him to work with youth in ministry or teaching; and God opened a door at SFC. As the Advisory Coordinator, his goal is to create an authentic environment for students to talk about Jesus and where they are in their faith. Being a surf coach is another opportunity to advise and invest in the lives of students.
Speaking about SFC’s program, Matt says, “SFC has a unique surf program. Every year brings a different mix of kids who start in Middle School and then branch out on the Upper School team.” Jeremy Handysides, the Upper School Surf Coach, and Matt work together to build up the SFC surf program. “Our hope is that the Middle School Surf program will ignite the spark and love of surfing and grow as students go onto the Upper School.”
At SFC, the stereotypes of a typical surfer are challenged. “Sure, our athletes have a passion for their sport, just like any other athlete involved in other sports. They are also balanced and understand priorities. Yes, surfing is a huge part of our students’ lives, but it is not their identity – that is in Christ.” Matt further discusses how the kids are academic achievers, too. You will also find the older kids helping and encouraging the younger teammates. “Our surfers are different because they want to look like Jesus.” What is Matt’s goal with all the kids? Be Jesus in and out of the water, win or lose.
The SFC Middle School Surf Team/Club is a fall-winter sport and is open to all students regardless of their ability. The Surf Club is for those students who do not want to compete but enjoy the fellowship of the team and want to learn more. The plan for club kids is to learn basic surfing skills like how to duck dive, paddle, and make right and left maneuvers. The team is for those kids who want to compete. Practices are in a heat format and also focus on building endurance. What is learned in the water? How to take on a challenge and be patient – skills that these kids will need throughout life.
If you happen to see Matt Robinson on campus or out in the water, congratulate him as this July he will marry his fiance, Sona.
Surfing is just one way students are able to pursue and fulfill passions beyond CIF sanctioned sports. There are several others. Check them out here.