What an amazing way to start my weekend. I had the privledge of capturing “The Disable Surfers Association of Australia’s” event today. Talk about making ones heart sing…not sure if it was watching the disabled participants surfing or the volunteers getting a buzz from helping, the team leaders or the marshals…there were smiles from ear to ear everywhere I looked all morning.
One lady actually approached me, a mum of one of the participants. She said, “this is your first time isn’t it?”. Gosh was it that obvious, beautiful to watch.
About: The Disabled Surfers Association of Australia was established in 1986 by Gary Blaschke after a motorcycle accident which he lost his knee cap and under went extensive rehabilitation. Gary saw a void that needed to be filled as over the years, many surfers with disabilities have unfortunately, been loners with no one to help them get back into the water.
Many suffer from disabilities that the general public would not consider a disability. From asthmatics to joint injuries to paraplegic, many members have found friendship, support and have renewed their interest in surfing.
Gary’s vision quickly extended to all classes of disabilities, as it is today. A total voluntary organisation, which sets world’s best practice for Disabled Surfers. Find out more here:
Sunshine Coast Daily, Sunday, November 29, 2015, story by Erica Henderson
Nothing stops nine-year-old Sophie Hopson and with an organisation such as the Sunshine Coast branch of the Disabled Surfers Association of Australia there to support her, she can ride the waves at Maroochydore and experience the feeling only a surfer knows.
Sophie has cerebral Palsy – a physical disability that affects movement and posture – meaning she relies heavily on a wheelchair, but she doesn’t let that hold her back “Surfing just makes me feel free. I love the freedom it gives.” Read more of Erica Henderson’s story here: