Disabilities no barrier HAVING a

Disabilities no barrier
HAVING a mental or psychiatric disability should be no impediment to learning to surf, says Tracey Ryan. And so there is the EnVision surf group, a squad of approximately 30 people who join up with qualified coach, Marcel Cole every Friday morning at Northcliff Surf Life Saving club in Surfers Paradise to learn the finer points of paddling and hangin’ five.
“Our people want to do things that are valued culturally,” said Tracey. “They come here for the beaches and the lifestyle like anyone else does.”
Taking part in the sport also helps with health and fitness, important considerations for people who may have spent many years in institutions. “It is a supportive environment and they can hang out without having to put on a front,” she said. “They can join in without being too noticeable. It can be very hard for our people to join groups, to walk into a room full of strangers when they have been away inside for a while.” She said Northcliff surf lifesavers welcomed the EnVision club ‘with open arms’ and supported two members to gain their bronze medallions.
Earlier this year, the EnVision surfers welcomed a special guest, actor and dancer Paul Mercurio, the star of the movie, Strictly Ballroom who turned up to surf with club members and join them for a barbecue afterward. “One of our guys saw him in a cafe and fronted up and asked him along. “He had no inhibitions about it,” said Tracey. “Paul was very empathetic, he had lost someone close to him through suicide.”
–Gold Coast Sun, Edition 1WED 15 MAY 2002

Comments are closed.