From the streets of Manenberg, Alfonso Peters has overcome the odds through a sport he says changed the trajectory of his life and made his dream of participating in an international surfing competition a reality. The 27 year old will head to the World Surf League Men's and Women's Longboard International Event in Papua New Guinea in March 2017, after beating two-time world champion and mulitple South African champion, Matthew Moir to win the Tiger's Milk Winter Classic longboarding competition last year.
Alfonso was born in Mitchells Plain and moved with his mother and younger sister to Manenberg after his father died and they could no longer afford their home. His older brother stayed with his grandmother, and older sister with an aunt. "I was in trouble. I wasn't going to school and started hanging out with the wrong friends, they taught me the wrong things," Alfonso says. "I used to sleep on the streets and come home weeks later. I felt like I had come from a broken home and there was nothing for me to go back to."
He later ended up at a shelter in Muizenberg called Beautiful Gate, and sent to the School of Hope which affords at-risk and vulnerable youth a second chance at an education. This is where Alfonso discovered the world of surfing, through an outreach programme, where he fell it love with it and never looked back.
"You can just get out there and not worry about a thing. The only thing you worry about is the next wave coming. You can be free out there!" Says Alfonso. "Once you find your passion, it is the driver that will help you stay focused and have a goal."
It was his perseverance and determination that got him to where he is today, and despite the challenges he faced, he kept on looking forward. His one dream in life was to compete at an international level, and now his dream will be coming true. Unfortunately, he now needs the funds to get there and assist with his flights, accommodation, passport & visa fees.
Article by Lisa Isaacs, Cape Times, 16 February 2017
We ask if you can please help in any way, no matter how big or small, to back Alfonso so he can proudly represent South Africa at The World Surf League Longboard Championships! For more information, please contact Surf Emporium at 021 788 8687 or [email protected]!