WATCH: Keana Banfield makes a big splash!
Champion surfer and Suzuki Caribbean ambassador, Chelsea Tuach, presents Keana Banfield with her very own surfboard.
Barbados’ Sports Tourism Ambassador and champion surfer, Chelsea Tuach, teamed up with her sponsor, Suzuki Caribbean, to help Keana make her surfing debut.
The Barbadian public first came to know 11-year-old Keana three years ago, as her family appealed for help to get her urgent medical treatment overseas as she fought for her life. Young Keana has survived through toxic shock syndrome, organ failure, cardiomyopathy, osteoporosis and osteomyelitis.
Having returned to Barbados in 2014, she is now thriving and on Christmas holiday after her first term at Christ Church Foundation School.
Keana, who loves the beach, received an early Christmas gift last Monday, when Chelsea Tuach surprised her with a trip to Barry’s Surf School in Dover, Christ Church, as well as her very own surfboard – an outing orchestrated by Keana’s mum, Kysha Banfield-Best.
Arriving within minutes of everyone being gathered, an unassuming Keana entered the doors of her home to find Chelsea standing in her living room, leaving her “excited and confused”.
When she learned the details of the outing, a beaming Keana rushed off to change into her swimming gear, before joining Chelsea in a turquoise 2016 Suzuki Vitara to travel to her surf lesson in style!
When they arrived at Dover Beach, Chelsea declared it was a perfect day for surfing, and that certainly seemed to be the case, as Keana went on to have a very successful lesson.
After a few pointers from surf instructor, Barry Banfield, on technique and form on the shore, it was time for Keana, Chelsea and Barry to hit the waves.
Despite a few minor falls in the beginning, Keana maintained her composure and a determined demeanor and by the end of the first half of the lesson she was up on her board and standing like a pro as though she’d been riding waves all her life – much to the delight and cheers of her mum and other onlookers.
Following the lesson, the surprises weren’t over as Chelsea also presented Keana with her very own surfboard.
“Now that we’ve had our first surf, I wanted to give you this board so that you can go surfing whenever you want,” Chelsea told Keana. “It’s a pretty colour and it’s one of my favourite boards so I hope that you will continue surfing and have as much fun on it as I did!”
A delighted Keana, who later declared that she was “very fussy” with her new surfboard, said she enjoyed the experience, adding that her favourite part was “the thrill when you catch the wave!”
Watch the video now to see more from Keana’s surf surprise from Chelsea and Suzuki Caribbean!