IT has been 20 years since the inception of Disabled Surfing but the Batemans Bay region's inaugural Disabled Surf Association Have A Go Day will be on tomorrow at North Broulee Beach.
DSA events are open to all disabilities no matter how severe. Last June, Kelly McCann, a C2 quadriplegic requiring constant breathing assistance, starred on ABC TV's 7.30 Report after surfing for over an hour with the DSA at Gerroa.
Since that time, Kel has gone surfing seven times with branches from the South Coast, Sydney and Central Coast.
Wetsuits, amphibious all-terrain wheelchairs and 20cm soft surfboards are all provided on the day - participants just have to bring their swimmers and a towel.
The signs are promising for the Broulee event, with a groundswell of helper support from the Batemans Bay SLSC and the Broulee Women's Boardriders with participants booking in from as far as Canberra and Sydney.
"Last minute volunteer surfer helpers on the day are most welcome to supplement the helper pool," branch president Ian Picton said.
Check-in time is 10.30am and the cost is $10 to non-DSA member participants, and free to all carers and helpers. A barbecue lunch and drinks will be provided free to all registered for the event.
Enquiries and bookings can be directed to Jim on 0410 612 205 and for a full overview of the DSA's activities, see the web on www.disabledsurfers.org.
There are now nine DSA branches across Australia with two more coming on line this season; Dunsborough WA (next month), Coffs Harbour NSW (April 2007).
The secret to the success of the DSA is that it is a grass-roots sporting organization, totally voluntary, and operating with the good will of local communities.