South African surfing legend Shaun Tomson made a huge impact on young lives when he kicked off his Positive Wave Tour in KwaDukuza on Friday morning. Tomson’s inspiration for the youth comes from his book The Code: The Power of I Will, where he illustrated how they could change their lives in just twelve steps, each beginning with “I will…”.

The 1977 World World Surfing Champion and six times winner of the Gunston 500 in Durban, is motivating local schools and organisations through the Positive Wave Tour driven by SMG Rocks & hosted by Coco De Mer as part of the 50th edition of the world’s longest running professional surfing event, the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong.

Tomson’s first workshop was hosted in the unlikeliest of places, the Shark Tank, where he inspired the Cell C Sharks to empower themselves through the power of his code “I will”.

The Sharks, who have never won a Super Rugby title since the competition’s inception in the nineties,are determined to break their losing streak through implementing Tomson’s twelve-step code.

“Your attitude is a fundamental choice,” Tomson told the province’s rugby team. “You need to find the power within yourself to create faith, courage, confidence and determination which will turn hope into action. The ultimate goal of the codeis to create a wave of positive energy that keeps circling the globe, infusing everyone that comes across it with a powerful spark of hope for the future,” he added.

Tomson, author of The Code: The Power of “I Will”, thereafter conducted his first school workshop at the Zilungisele Primary School in KwaDukuza, inspiring the youth to believe in themselves and to unlock the power that lies within to shape their future.

Like most schools, Zilungisele Primary which has almost 700 learners, is facing a battle with drugs. Tomson advised learners, “Drugs is about choice; making a choice or not making a choice. Drugs make your life worse, and can kill you. Every one of you has the power to help other people by making a difference to their lives.”

Tomson encouraged learners saying that the pathway to success is through learning. “You can change the behaviour of others through what you say. Everyday you should do something good, not just for yourself, but for your friends!”

Based on faith, courage, creativity and determination learned from his personal life experiences, Shaun Tomson positively encouraged the learners at Zilungisele Primary School to be agents of change in their own lives.

Mrs S.P. Shabalala, principal of Zilungisele Primary School said, “ We truly appreciate that KwaDukuza Municipality together with the Ballito Pro have brought the message of ‘The Code and I will’ from Shaun Tomson to our school. We feel that our learners are already committed to the code, and we promise to support them to live their codes.”

Deputy Mayor of the KwaDukuza Municipality, Mrs Dolly Govender said, “There is no end to education. You educate yourself every single day, by gaining knowledge. And knowledge equals power.”

“You have the power to be great leaders of this country. You can empower each other by sharing your knowledge and the message you learnt from Shaun Tomson,” she said.

The Positive Wave Tour is aimed at inspiring the youth of South Africa and aptly coincides with Youth Month, which highlights the importance of education and the youth of this country in building a better future for themselves.

The Shaun Tomson Positive Wave Tour driven by SMG Rocks and hosted by Coco De Mer will conclude with the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birthday on 18th July, with 67 minutes of work at a selected high school in the KwaDukuza Municipality.