‘Imagine the privilege of taking someone with a disability into the ocean for the first time and imagine the thrill for our surfers feeling the rush of a wave for the first time with an army of volunteers cheering them on. The Ocean Grove Branch of the Disabled Surfers Association (DSA) is all about putting smiles on dials! We’ve been doing this since 2009 and our 2018 events are February 4th and March 4th. We’d love to get more people involved!’ PLEASE SHARE! Their Secretary Nick Ansell tells us more.
‘The DSA is a charity run totally by volunteers, which takes people with any disability surfing in a fun and safe environment. Our events are free, fun and life changing for both our surfers and our volunteers.
‘We are an organisation all about equality and inclusion whose aim is to give people of all abilities the rush of feeling a wave. We’ve taken hundreds of surfers of all abilities for surfing experiences and you should have seen the look on their faces!
‘Last year we had over 200 volunteers and about 80 surfers of all abilities. We expect and welcome this number to be even higher this year!
‘At Ocean Grove we have world class beach facilities that help make the experience as inclusive as possible.
- Special needs changing amenities
- Wheelchair ramp access from the car park all the way to the sand
- Specialised Beach Wheelchairs to suit adults and children
‘These Specialised Beach Wheelchairs are available for use along the Bellarine and Surf coast free of charge by the community at any time by arrangement. This enables a person with special needs to experience the beach at any time with family and friends all year round.
‘More details at http://disabledsurfers.org/vic/ocean-grove-branch/ or on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Disabled-Surfers-Association-Ocean-Grove-268198163284547/’
The DSA website tells us ‘The DSA is uniquely Australian (established in 1986) having ambitions to go global, whilst setting world’s best practice for the sport of Disabled Surfing. Initially set up for injured surfers, within a short time the DSA had dramatically widened its target group to cater for all disabilities, that is anyone willing to have a go.’ http://www.disabledsurfers.org
Story: Jacqui Bennett. Photo: By Diana Willis taken at last year’s event.
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