Image Caption: Greg Emslie of East London inspiring tomorrow's youth through the Red Cap Foundation's High School Soccer program. © Mr Price/ Tostee
Inspiring tomorrow’s heroes is the sole mission of the RedCap Foundation, and as one of the ambassadors for the Foundation, Mr Price Hero Greg Emslie will be doing just that when he competes at this year's Mr Price Pro Ballito.
Emslie, a former finalist at the Mr Price Pro, will surf in the event at Willard Beach from July 2-8 with a red wrist band emblazoned with the mission statement of the RCF to raise awareness for this worthy cause.
"If I can help and inspire our youth in any way through my surfing at the Mr Price Pro and to also create awareness for all the good work that the foundation is doing in the KwaDukuza region and throughout South Africa then that is something close to my heart," Emslie said.
"Having kids of my own, you realise how important sport is for them," he added. "It makes them live the dream of possibly becoming one of 'tomorrow's heroes' and besides the friends they make and life skills they learn when the game is over, they have burnt off the excess energy that all kids have and can concentrate properly on their studies at home or at school."
One of the programmes run by the RCF is the Young Heroes Project, which is making a difference in the lives of primary school children from low-income communities by giving them an opportunity to develop a healthy lifestyle and passion for regular exercise from an early age.
Emslie recently joined the Mr Price Surf Team at Dr Vilakazi Primary school when he participated in the Red Cap Foundations' Young Heroes project.
"There is a saying 'a healthy body is a healthy mind' so it was great to see the youngsters enjoying themselves during their physical education classes and to see the educators having just as much fun with the Young Heroes programme," he reflected.
"It's awesome to spend time with the kids and it is amazing to see the different skill levels that come out. You realise that the little kid next to you could be the next striker for Bafana Bafana, you just don't know. But one thing is for sure, they remember RedCap coming to their schools and teaching them life skills on and off the field!"
RedCap Foundation Manager Natasja Ambrosio said they were excited to be associated with one of South Africa’s top performing surfers.
“We are humbled by Greg’s act of kindness in giving his time to raise the profile of the Foundation and its life changing initiatives in KwaDukuza for the benefit of the children. As an ambassador of the Foundation, Greg shares in our dream of inspiring tomorrow’s heroes!”
Emslie, who is an ASP World Tour retiree and flew the South African flag for a record nine years at the elite level, will once again have the hopes of South Africa on his shoulders as a crowd favourite at this year's event.
He said his preparations had been going well.
"I am feeling great right now. I've been trying to get in the water twice a day and the waves have been excellent this winter season. I wake up at 4.30am and do training with my brothers, so it has been a fun build up and I’m amped!"
The prestigious ASP PRIME Mr Price Pro Ballito runs from July 2-8, featuring 96 surfers from 19 different countries and offering, R2.2 million in prize money.
The Mr Price Pro Ballito runs concurrently with a Beach Festival with free concerts on the beach at Salt Rock (July 6 and 7) with a host of South Africa's leading bands featuring in the line-up making the Mr Price Pro Ballito the biggest surf, beach and lifestyle event on the African continent.
The RedCap Foundation is a Non-Profit and Public Benefit Organisation that carries out the Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiatives for Mr Price Group and strives to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of young South Africans. The Foundation's main focus is on upliftment, especially of the underprivileged, through education.