batyr’s Big Night In

Thea Noone

A sense of tightness crawled through his body, clutching at his chest. His breathing began to quicken as a sense of uncontrollable anxiety enveloped his body. He was found in the company bathroom. It was time to get help.

Four years on, Grant Tribelico founded One Wave, a surf movement raising awareness for mental health, and he will be a guest speaker for the batyr event on Thursday 18th May.

Many uni students experience health issues and as it comes closer to the end of semester, we all need a reminded to put our health first. batyr are holding their first event for the year, focussing on the correlation between mental and physical health.

One Wave is a not-for profit surf community which focuses on raising awareness for mental health.

The organisation holds a weekly event called Fluoro Fridays, which “started at Bondi Beach…we get dressed in the most ridiculous stuff we can find and we start conversations about mental health,” said Grant.

It was a balance of having open conversations, a supportive network, and a physical outlet which formed the ‘recipe’ for Grant. “All I knew is that I wanted to share the recipe of One Wave and … [its] effect, get as many people in the ocean so they could experience how good it feels to catch a wave.”

The idea for One Wave was a natural progression for Grant, a man who has surfed for the majority of his life. Grant explains, “When you’re struggling, the easiest thing to do is sleep, and if it wasn’t for surfing, I wouldn’t be here. Surfing and good people saved my life.”

Stephanie Palmer of batyr discovered Grant listening to Triple J. “What Grant embodies, is that you can just get out on your board and you can surf, or you can do yoga or you can swim and it doesn’t really matter. You’ve just got to have an opportunity to clear your head,” she said.

For batyr, the aim of the event is “to open the conversation up for a bigger audience,” Steph explains. Having an event such as this can be an important step in starting conversations about mental health.

A physical outlet and developing routine are two key components for managing mental health. Tom Traee, a psychologist at Headspace said, “Exercise is …a really good way of managing the symptoms that come with a whole range of mental health issues.

“There is a ton of research that sort of points to the fact that exercise is one very preventative measure towards developing a mental health issue in the first place, but more so also when mental health issues first present,” said Traae.

Whether you’re a beginner, pro surfer, or prefer to avoid the ocean – you can still get involved. “People can come down just for coffee, yoga, or a swim”, said Grant.

One Wave is at 100 beaches in over 20 countries worldwide. “It shows that there are so many people out there who actually care, it’s just about finding a fun way of breaking down a barrier, but not being too serious,” said Grant.

To hear Grant’s story and find out more about balancing mental and physical health, the batyr event is being held this Thursday, 18 May from 5:30pm at the Balcony.

RSVP is essential.