Crowded surf, but that’s the plan

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disabled surfers

PT LEO surf beach is sure to be crowded on Saturday, but no one is grumbling as it will be the second event held this year by the Mornington Peninsula branch of the Disabled Surfers Association.

The first event for the year on Saturday 16 January saw 115 participants enjoying the surf with the help of 300 volunteers.

And organisers are predicting this Saturday’s event will attract even more volunteers and participants.

Volunteers can register with the DSA near the Pt Leo lifesaving club from 9.30am (or earlier if they want to help set up for the day).

There are several jobs for volunteers who are briefed before the start of the event.

The actual surfing starts at 11am and involves teams of volunteers standing in the water to provide a channel of helping hands within which the surfers catch waves to the beach.

Some of the surfers lie down while others sit and stand. The DSAMP has wide-wheeled wheelchairs to get surfers on and off the beach.

The branch is raising money to build a boardwalk to make it easier for conventional wheelchairs to access the beach.

Branch secretary Bill Hallett said the January event “was our biggest day ever” and expects even more people on Saturday as “March events have always been bigger than in January”.

Mr Hallett said the help provided by volunteers was exemplified by a taxi driver who brought two young surfing participants to the January event from Cranbourne.

The driver, after finding out about the disabled surfing event “walked them to the rego tent, went and parked his car, turned off the radio and meter and volunteered”.

To volunteer or participate in the Disabled Surfers’ Association Mornington Peninsula branch’s register at the Point Leo lifesaving club from 9.30am Saturday 5 March or for more details go to disabledsurfers.org/vic/morning-peninsula-branch or call Ash Gardner on 0417 362 983 or Stewart Lockie 0418 101 645.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 1 March 2016

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