Hands on Surf Day comes to Jetty Beach

The Mid North Coast Branch for Disabled Surfers Association’s Hands on Surf Day takes place on the northern side of the Jetty pier.

SURFING for the disabled is back with a Hands on Surf Day on Saturday 29 October, hosted by the Mid North Coast Branch for Disabled Surfers Association.

“We offer a day of surfing for people living with a disability whether it be anything from physical disability right through to autism and everything in between,” committee member Richie Goddard told News Of The Area.

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The day is open to all ages, volunteers and participants and is free of charge.

Sign in is from 8:15am with a briefing at 9am.

“Everyone arrives in the morning to sign up, briefing happens around 9:00am, then teams go onto the beach creating laneways for the surfers to ride the waves.

“The participants are spread into teams and laneways, so each time a rider gets four waves they pass on to the next rider; usually they can get four goes in a lane way.”

After a morning surfing, the Coffs Harbour Rotary club will host a free BBQ lunch for everyone to enjoy followed by presentations for the day,

Following a successful established format, the Hands on Surf Days bring together the wider community as well as members of the disability community to participate in a free and inclusive day.

“People even come from as far as Armidale for our surfing days.

“The event is really to bring out the best in everyone and because our branch has a lot of sponsors and backers, we can have the surfing days free of charge to everyone,” said Richie.

Volunteers are welcome to register, too, and need no particular skills.

Help ranges from being in chest depth water pushing surf boards onto breaking waves for the riders, right through to pushing wheelchairs onto the beach.

“You don’t have to be necessarily water confident, even if you only put your feet in water, any help is appreciated.

“Just remember to bring a happy and positive attitude and brace yourself for a fun day.

“As for surfers, don’t worry if you’ve never seen a surfboard in your life, you will be supported by willing people who will love to see you giving it a red-hot go,” said Richie.

“Bring your lovely selves, sun gear (hat, sunnies etc), a bright and positive attitude and brace yourself for fun.

“Rash shirts are provided for the day, but if you feel comfortable to wear a wetsuit, bring that.”

The Mid North Coast Branch for Disabled Surfers Association is run by a board of well organised, outcome-oriented people led by Charmaine Harrington.

The Mid North Coast branch has been established for almost fifteen years and came to life through funds raised by the Barney Miller surfing competition.

“We are excited to see everyone after Covid lockdowns and rough surf that cancelled our February and March days this year.

“Bring on the surfing and fun…just remember to book your Eventbrite ticket online,” said Richie.

Booking details are on the DSA Mid North Facebook page at facebook.com/Mid-North-Coast-Disabled-Surfers-Association.


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