The Central Coast Disabled Surfers Association is about to commence with its 2017/18 season and is seeking volunteers to help people of all ages and abilities learn how to surf.
The Association’s fi rst meeting will be at Umina Beach on November 4 followed by a meeting at Toowoon Bay on December 2. “Our volunteers serve to provide a unique, safe and happy surfi ng experience to a wide range of people with various disabilities who would otherwise be unable to access the beach,” the Association’s Ms Rae Fiechter said. “In order to ensure safety, the Association has a very high volunteer to participant ratio, with a minimum of six to one, up to as high as 30 to 1 for more challenging participants. “We only surf in broken waves, in waist depth water.
“Volunteers help participants enjoy the experience that abled bodied people often take for granted,” she continued. “Volunteers do not need to know how to surf, they just need to be willing to get wet and have some fun. “Refreshments and a rash shirt will be provided, but volunteers are encouraged to bring their own wetsuits. “Volunteering at a ‘Hands on Day’ consists of helping participants to and from the beach, assisting them in and out of the water and helping set up and clean up. “Food is provided and smiles are always encouraged,”
Ms Fiechter said. The Association will have four ‘Hands on Day’ Surf Events this season, with two at Umina Beach on November 4, and February 2, 2018, and two at Toowoon Bay on December 2, and March 3, 2018. The Disabled Surfers Association was established in 1986 and currently has 16 branches across Australia and New Zealand. The Association sets world’s best practice for the sport of Disabled Surfing and creates opportunities for everyone, including disabled participants and able-bodied volunteers, to experience unique, safe and happy surfing events, whilst under complete supervision from our trained Team Leaders and Beach Marshalls. The Association’s training programs are award winning for Outstanding Achievement in Implementing Safe Sport Practices, and Minister’s awards for Most Signifi cant Contribution to Water Safety by an Organisation.
Source: Media release, 1 Oct 2017 Rae Fiechter, Disabled Surfers Association