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Timaru Girls' High School pupils are among the youngsters making the most of the South Canterbury Surf School, established by Mark Lawrence (right).

Timaru Girls’ High School pupils are making the most of the recently established South Canterbury Surf School.

Timaru surfer Mark Lawrence has launched the surf school, to get more people hitting the waves this summer.

Pupils from several schools have taken up the opportunity over the past week.

Mr Lawrence is running the school with fellow instructor Mark Cloughley, of the West Coast. The duo, who grew up in Timaru, have spent many hours surfing the South Canterbury coastline.

Mark Lawrence has launched the South Canterbury Surf School, an initiative to get more people hitting the waves this summer.

Pupils from a range of Timaru schools have taken up the opportunity over the past week, learning the ropes from Mr Lawrence and his fellow surfing instructor, Mark Cloughley, of the West Coast.

Regulations mean Mr Lawrence, who has been surfing for the past 30 years, is allowed to teach up to eight people at a time.

However, interest has exceeded that number so he has called on Mr Cloughley to help meet demand.

The duo, who grew up in Timaru, have spent many hours surfing the South Canterbury coastline and want to see more people giving it a go.

Mr Lawrence supplies surf boards and wetsuits and welcomes anyone as young as 9 to take part.

“I just feel that there’s sort of no-one coming through from my generation and I just want young kids to know South Canterbury is a good place to surf.”

He said Caroline Bay was a great place to learn, particularly for children, because it was not an “overwhelming” beach.

However, he was not just working with children.

“I’m actually getting quite a few [adults].”

Mr Lawrence, who welcomes groups wanting something different for team-building exercises or parties, provides classes on Friday nights and at weekends, and on weekdays for school groups.

He has all the required certificates, including advanced first aid.

His ultimate goal is to have people, particularly children, competing against each other.

“Then we can take [their skills] to Christchurch and Dunedin.”