We love the surfing events that DSAMP (Disabled Surfing Association Mornington Peninsula) put on and January 16 was right up there with the best. 296 volunteers helping the 113 surfers with a disability, move to and from the water’s edge in beach wheel chairs and people being lifted on to long boards excited to hit the waves with ‘smiles on their dials’.
This is what community, commitment and diversity looks like.
President of DSAMP Ash Gardner explains. “Our first event in 2012 had one hundred and eighty four volunteers and two surfers. You can see how it’s grown. We now have thirty on our committee and 2015 saw a live auction of eighteen surfboards (supplied by Trigger Bros) in AFL colours signed by the players at Baha in Rye’ – they work closely with the First Reef Project group who have really smart fundraising ideas. ‘We also ran a three part program with Frankston High School in disability awareness and are part of the Community Boardwalk project at Point Leo.” The Point Leo foreshore committee, surf lifesaving club, Mornington Peninsula Shire and local MP Greg Hunt are all contributing to the project.
Apart from all that activity, the guys who run these events are just plain nice. All surfers with a disability are treated with respect and just like one of the guys which is a refreshing change for many of them.
Look out for the next event on March 5. Registration opens at 10am. You don’t need surf experience to volunteer – just a good heart.
by Liz Rogers
Disabled Surfing Association Mornington Peninsula Branch
P: 0417 362 983