How Lotterywest grants are helping children with autism build self-confidence through surfing

Ocean Heroes Lotterywest
Home >The Dream State >How Lotterywest grants are helping children with autism build self-confidence through surfing

While plenty of West Aussies have hit the Lotto jackpot, Lotterywest’s impact on the broader Western Australian community is where you’ll find the real winners.

Thanks to you playing Lotterywest games each week, Lotterywest grants are helping the people of our State via hundreds of different grants, to the tune of $351.5 million in the last financial year alone!

We’ve been diving into a number of these grants through our Dream State series, and this week we’re diving into the legends at Ocean Heroes.

Formed in 2016, Ocean Heroes provides a unique opportunity for children with autism to take part in organised sport within a highly-supported, safe and inclusive environment via free surfing experiences.

It’s an incredible way to develop confidence, boost self-esteem and make connections with others.

Ocean Heroes Lotterywest

Since launching, it has gone from strength-to-strength—in 2022 alone Ocean Heroes ran 2,000 individual sessions in Perth and Geraldton, along with surfing and awareness events as far and wide as Broome, Margaret River, Albany, Denmark and Esperance!

It’s a massive undertaking—each year Ocean Heroes supports up to 400 participants, along with at least 600 family members and carers, all while engaging over 350 volunteers.

And your Lotto tickets have helped the journey!

Most recently a Lotterywest grant of $11,199 went towards full-length steamer wetsuits to enable participation throughout the colder months, and life jackets to provide safety for inexperienced participants.

Subscribe to our free newsletter!
Ocean Heroes Lotterywest

It’s also helped Ocean Heroes expand their event numbers from just eight in 2018 to a whopping 34 all over WA this year.

“Ocean Heroes are our second family,” says Michaela, mum of a child who participates in surf lessons. “The instructors have a great understanding of kids on the autism spectrum, it just makes so much difference to all of us.”

Find out more about Ocean Heroes here, and for more about how playing lotto is helping make good things happen in the WA community, head to the Lotterywest Dream State Hub.

This article is sponsored by Lotterywest and endorsed by us. Please see our Editorial Policy for more info.