A BUY a plank offer will see donors names carved into the surface of a beach access boardwalk to be built at Pt Leo.
Plans for the boardwalk have already been drawn and the Disabled Surfers Association Mornington Peninsula branch is close to raising money needed for its construction.
The boardwalk will provide wheelchair access to the beach and a viewing platform for lifesavers and the public.
While still $20,000 short, the DSAMP has received grants from Mornington Peninsula Shire and the Department of Infrastructure.
Carving names into planks forming the surface of the boardwalk is one of several options being followed to raise the remainder of the money.
In surfing terms, a plank is a long surfboard, and walking the plank (a surfing manoeuvre) seems an appropriate metaphor for going for a stroll along the boardwalk.
Ash Gardner, re-elected branch president at the DSAMP’s 7 June annual general meeting, said the proposed all abilities boardwalk would run from the Point Leo lifesaving clubhouse to the beach and enable the branch’s beach wheelchairs to be used by the public.
The purpose-built wheelchairs have wide, inflatable tyres which allow them to be pushed across soft sand.
At the moment use of the wheelchairs is limited to the branch’s two annual surfing events at Point Leo.
Mr Gardner said branch’s two annual surfing events had enabled 245 disabled people of all ages and abilities to participate in a surfing experience. More than 560 volunteers had helped out at the events, both in the water and on land.
“Through our events we aim to unite our local community, schools, businesses and residents,” he said in his annual report.
“A good example was running three sessions of our disability awareness in schools program at Frankston High School. Twenty of the students then came and volunteered on the day.”
Mr Gardner said the DSA’s main aim was to “put smiles on dials – that is, to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for people with any disability”.
“The 2015/6 season brought many new ideas, engaged new members of our community and saw a greater number of school-aged kids volunteering at our events.
“It also delivered continual improvement of our systems, development of volunteer roles and development of our volunteers through training.”
An auction of surfboards decorated in VFL teams’ colours had raised $12,000 which would be used to buy new equipment for the surfing events as well as helping pay for the boardwalk.