POSTED: Monday March 28th 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ron Jon Surf Shop Becomes Statewide Sponsor of Special Olympics Florida's "One of a Kind" Surfing Program

COCOA BEACH, Fla. -- (March 28, 2011) – In a ceremony held at Ron Jon Surf Shop’s flagship location in Cocoa beach Thursday, Ron Jon COO Debbie Harvey and Special Olympics Florida President Monty Castevens announced that Ron

Special Olympics athletes “hang loose” with Special Olympics Florida President Monty Castevens (center, left) and Ron Jon COO Debbie Harvey (center, right).
Special Olympics athletes “hang loose” with Special Olympics Florida President Monty Castevens (center, left) and Ron Jon COO Debbie Harvey (center, right).

COCOA BEACH, Fla.—(March 28, 2011) - In a ceremony held at Ron Jon Surf Shop’s flagship location in Cocoa beach Thursday, Ron Jon COO Debbie Harvey and Special Olympics Florida President Monty Castevens announced that Ron Jon Surf Shop will be the Statewide Sponsor of Special Olympics Florida’s Surfing Program.

Joined by Special Olympics surfers, Ron Jon Surf Shop pledged its support to ensure the expansion of the ground-breaking Special Olympics surfing program it helped launch last year.

The Special Olympics-sanctioned surfing program, the first of its kind in the world, began in June of 2010 with a group of eight Special Olympics athletes in Cocoa Beach

The program quickly grew to include training locations in Stuart and Jacksonville and Ron Jon Surf Shop hosted the first-ever Statewide Special Olympics Surfing competition in October of 2010, with more than 25 athletes competing.

As part of its sponsorship, Ron Jon Surf Shop will cover all costs associated with the program, including instruction, gear, and hosting the annual Special Olympics State Surfing Championship in Cocoa Beach, FL.

Additionally, Ron Jon Surf Shop’s support will allow for expanding current surfing training and competitive opportunities for Special Olympics athletes, as well as the development of instructional materials to help bring the sport to a global audience for Special Olympics.

The surfing program features one-on-one interaction between the Special Olympics athletes and the experienced team of professionals at the surf schools around the state and offered both water safety education and fun on the beach.

The program has developed under the guidance of surf-industry veteran Craig Carroll, whose Ron Jon Surf School is the largest and most experienced surf academy in Florida and the Southeast.  Carroll, a former professional surfer who has surfed in Cocoa Beach for more than 40 years, has operated the surf school since 1993.  Teams of instructors and volunteers have brought surfing to life for athletes in Jacksonville and Stuart.

"We could never have anticipated the enthusiasm with which surfing would be met by our athletes, families and fans - it has been an exciting and amazing addition to Special Olympics and through surfing, our athletes continue to shatter stereotypes each time they pick up their boards and take to the waves" said Special Olympics Florida President Monty Castevens, adding “Together, with Ron Jon Surf Shop, we have set in motion something that has great potential to benefit many, many more Special Olympics athletes, all while giving them the skills to enjoy the sport of surfing with their friends, families, and the broader surfing community, for the rest of their lives.”

"It has been very meaningful for us to not only watch the progress of the athletes, but also see the excitement and energy as the program has continued to grow, said Debbie Harvey, president and COO of Ron Jon Surf Shop.  "Surfing has proven to be a fun and enjoyable activity for many Special Olympics athletes and we look forward to what the future holds." 

About Special Olympics Florida
Special Olympics Florida provides year-round sports training and competition to children and adults with intellectual disabilities, at no cost to the athlete or their caregiver, as a means to achieve physical fitness, self-esteem, socialization skills, and the life skills necessary to be a productive, respected and contributing members of their communities.
To learn more, visit http://www.specialolympicsflorida.org.

About Ron Jon Surf Shop
Ron Jon Surf Shop was founded in 1959 by surfing enthusiast Ron DiMenna.  Two years later, he opened a tiny oceanside shop in Long Beach Island, N.J.  The lifestyle-apparel and board-sports-equipment retailer has since opened stores in Cocoa Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, Ft. Myers, Key West, Panama City Beach, Fla., as well as Myrtle Beach, S.C.  The flagship store in Cocoa Beach is the world's largest surf shop.  It operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

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Media - For more information:
Ryan Julison, Ron Jon Surf Shop, (321) 377-6877
Amie Dugan, Special Olympics Florida, (407) 402-8599

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Keywords · ron jon surf shop · surfing · special olympics · florida sports


Name: Amie Dugan
Organization: Special Olympics
Email:
URL: http://www.specialolympics.org


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