In our latest Inspirational People
Interview, Tassy shows us
how to achieve!
We are excited to share an interview with the Inspirational Tassy Swallow, Professional Surfer, founder of All Girls Surf Club ‘Tassy’s Suf Ratz’ and Director of SurfHouse St.Ives’, Club house to the girls and community events hub situated on the clifftop in beautiful St. Ives, Cornwall. Tassy founded her Surf Club in 2012 with the purpose of improving self-confidence in young girls aged 6 – 16 yrs as well as teaching them surfing and improving their water skills. Now that the club has a base right at the heart of the community, Tassy also uses the SurfHouse building to host all kinds of events, workshops, talks, music gigs and exhibitions – linking up with lots of talented people in the local area. Tassy aims is to use the ‘events’ side of the business to generate the income allowing her to run the Girls Surf club as the social enterprise side of the business.
It’s hard to imagine Tassy, with all that you have achieved in both your surfing career and the SurfHouse that you have ever experienced self-doubt. Have you always been self-confident?
I’ve definitely always felt that I am headstrong and determined to achieve something if I have set out to do it- but that’s sometimes my downfall too! I recognise that I am mainly as determined as I am to achieve because of my parents- they’ve always always pushed me and sitting comfortably or ‘coasting’ has never really felt like a fun option or one that they would support. The first time I felt REAL Self-Doubt was when I came to set up the SurfHouse project. I’d had the surf club running for about 5-6 years at this point, but that felt easy because it was just surfing and sharing my knowledge with the girls from the beach or theory in my bedroom. Suddenly it was all talk of business plans, building work and fundraising to even just start the process in the first place. It was all new to me, and it felt really scary…. all the ideas I had in my head were suddenly becoming a real possibility and just fuelled by my passion, as opposed to experience in that field!
I couldn’t actually count on my fingers the amount of times I doubted myself and what I was doing. But you have just got to trust the process, and know that if you care enough about the thing that you’re doing then anything is possible to achieve, you’ll always find a way.
Most people would recognize that confidence comes and goes….How do you maintain yours?
Having a reason to be confident, that’s what fuels me! I’m not very good at doing anything without seeing a point to why I’m doing it. But when I really believe in the reason for doing something, I find that a real drive to succeed.
I also find that being comfortable in my own skin is such an important element to being confident. Be proud of who you are, embrace the parts of you that you‘re less stoked about and think about trying to change those things if you can’t look past them.
You of course must appreciate the progress you make with the young girls you inspire and teach. But why do you think young people struggle with confidence or self-belief at times?
I really believe that young people nowadays are struggling so much more with self-confidence than even 10 years ago when I was their age and this is all down to Social Media and the pressures they feel within society to maintain this ‘perfect’ or ‘idealistic’ image that these social channels promote. It blows my mind that kids not even out of primary school are already subject to these pressures to fit into this kind of lifestyle. It’s like anything – everything in moderation. However, if you can be out and active, doing real things with real people and feeling the benefits of this will directly improve your self-confidence & belief in yourself as opposed to looking at a fake ideal world portrayed online.
What was it that inspired you to found Tassy’s Surf Ratz and the SurfHouse?
My love for coaching hit me hard when I first set up the surf club and I never expected to feel such genuine satisfaction for it when I first started running sessions.
To be perfectly honest I started the club because I needed a part time job to fund my competitive career as a junior, at a time when there really was no money in the industry and because of this, I was receiving a lot less from my sponsors than I had been previously. From the very first session though I felt such a strong sense of self-worth and satisfaction to see the girls ripping and stoked! That’s when I decided that no matter what happened with my own surfing career, I had this epic chance to be doing a job that I genuinely loved and could see the point in doing. That’s something so special and I know I’m very lucky to have that.
Who inspires you?
My parents every damn day! They work so hard, they’re ambitious and driven and on top of everything they do they support me and my siblings in everything we want to achieve…no matter how big, small or stupid! There’s loads of people across Cornwall who also inspire me on a daily basis in various aspects of business, surfing and life!
What would you say to Confidence Guru followers out there who are struggling to develop their self-confidence and struggle with self-doubt?
Don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone and feel the unfamiliar. Surprising yourself at what you are capable of is the best and quickest way to feel self confidence and lift that self-doubt.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and ideas with us Tassy. You are doing amazing work and I know you will inspire our followers.