The sun, surf and sand is what makes the Queensland beaches a major attraction for most of us. For many individuals with a disability however, it isn’t always a simple activity to access the beach safely, let alone the surf.
Well the Disabled Surfers Association of Australia (DSAA) is changing that and bringing smiles to people with all disability of all ages and taking them surfing in a fun, friendly and safe environment.
Let’s Go Surfing Day is organised by the DSAA at various times of the year all around Australia, and brings together participants with a disability who are keen to get back into the water, and a dedicated group of around 50 volunteers per event who physically support them to achieve this.
David Gunn, a Myhorizon participant receiving support from our Ashmore Lifestyle team, recently took part in Let’s go Surfing Day on the Gold Coast. David, who acquired a brain injury 25 years ago, was an avid surfer from Ballina as a young adult, and had since not been back in the surf. With the encouragement of David’s Lifestyle support worker Rex Middleton, David was able to experience his love of the beach and the surf once again.
“After getting David out of his wheelchair, and into a special beach chair designed for the sand, we pushed him to the edge of the water and with the help of the amazing volunteers we were able to lift David onto the surfboard and down to the water.
There were around eight volunteers who carried David past the initial breakers, and turned him around in the water, with more volunteers lining the shore. Once David was pushed onto a wave, he started surfing towards the beach. It was pretty awesome.” Said Rex.
With a ratio of around 12-15 volunteers per each participant, there are plenty of DSAA volunteers at an arm’s reach to keep the participants on course, and assist the participants to get back onto the board if they are to fall off.
“David had three turns and the second time fell off his board, but he was fine with it. He was helped back onto the board and had a third go and loved it. He says he’d definitely love to do it again.” Said Rex.
David’s mum Alana also encouraged the experience, as David grew up living near the ocean and spent years in the surf, and she knew he would enjoy the activity.
“I think it’s important for David to know that he isn’t locked in to a situation, and he can do different things. I was overwhelmed and grateful to David’s Support Worker Rex for initiating this idea. I had no idea an activity like this was available for David, and when Rex spoke to me about this idea, we both really felt that David would benefit from an experience like this, so I’m very appreciative.” said Alana.
Let’s go Surfing is open to anyone with a disability with events running on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. For more information go to
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