The Disabled Surfers Association provide an opportunity for people of all abilities, size and age to surf in the ocean. They are an organization of volunteers from all walks of life, giving people and their families a wonderful opportunity.
We first learned about this organization when Darcy was quite young, through friends that had participated in events at Pt Leo and Inverloch.
We had decided from the start that this was something we would like to try once Darcy became old enough. He’s a very cautious child that doesn’t like to try things if he thinks there may be some danger involved. So, we decided to wait until he was old enough to understand that it was going to be alright.
2018, when Darcy was turning 12, was the year we decided to take him to Pt Leo to participate in this surfing event.
We had no idea what awaited us at the beach and to what extent the volunteer base was.
To say we were delightfully overwhelmed would be an understatement. There are over 200 volunteers at this event to make sure everything runs smoothly, and every participant gets an opportunity to experience the surf.
There are volunteers at the registration desk, where you can borrow wet suits and beach bikes (these are so people in wheelchairs can access the beach easily), at each station to make sure everyone has a fair chance. There are people cooking BBQ’s to feed everyone, people distributing drinks of water and a huge amount of people on the beach with the surf boards.
There are many experienced surfers that oversee everyone and help the new volunteers learn what is required to make sure participants are happy and safe on the boards.
It is a day full of love, acceptance, inclusion and generosity. When you look around at the hundreds of people on the beach, there is nobody there without a smile on their faces.
It is the most amazing day you will ever be a part of and is the most heartwarming experience. These are strangers (that do become friends) who want the absolute best for your child just like you do. They want them to have fun and experience something they would otherwise not have the chance to.
We have taken Darcy to 5 events now at Pt Leo and Inverloch and each time he gets a little more daring in how he sits on the surfboard. He seems to try something a little new each time we go.
The smile on his face and sense of achievement is one of the best things you will ever see. And the friends we have made are some of the most wonderful people you will ever meet.
The events run January through to March during the warmer months and every year we make sure they are marked on our calendar.
If you’ve never tried this with your child or whoever you care for, I highly recommend it and guarantee you will not be disappointed.
The link for Disabled Surfers Association Mornington Peninsula is: –