Adaptive Surfing Consultation Report Released
Adaptive/Para Surfing is a major focus area for Surfing England – we want to see more people with access to surfing, whether in the ocean or in wave pools, which open up opportunities for even wider participation.
Team England Adaptive have just placed 7th in the World at the 2021 AmpSurf ISA World Para Surfing Championships, making them one of (or even) the most successful English Team in history. The team grow year-on-year and the achievements are huge, yet there is so much more opportunity to open up the pathway from grassroots to elite adaptive surfing.
At the start of 2021 we commissioned a report into the current provision of adaptive surfing in England, with the aims to establish the development pathway, through assessment from an independent consultant. Our hopes are to utilise this report to underpin future funding applications as we strive to open up opportunities for every person to surf in England.
A compelling forward from Ben Powis, our CEO, provides context and vision,
“Surfing is good for the soul. It’s good for our physical and mental wellbeing, it provides us with endless challenge, creative outlet, connection with nature and so much more. It is not too grand a statement to say surfing can and does transform lives. The benefits are perhaps even more pronounced for those living with different levels of mental and physical ability and perhaps never more so than now, as we emerge from the grasp of Covid 19 and start to rebuild our lives. I see first-hand through the English Adaptive Championships, the Adaptive Surfing Team and the charities and clubs supporting adaptive surfing how transformative it is for surfers and volunteers alike.
In England 20% of the population live with disability, yet only just over 1% of the surfing population live with a disability. When the benefits seem so clear, why do we have such a gap? This report has been commissioned to explore that question, to understand the current level of provision for adaptive surfers and the barriers and challenges faced by those who want to start surfing.
We have a vision to see grass roots adaptive surfing grow, to make surfing more accessible to more people across the country. From that grass roots we will find more talent, feeding into the competitive pathway and ultimately supporting our work and that of the International Surfing Association to see adaptive surfing recognised in the Paralympics.
This report is a significant step forward on that journey. I’m full of excitement and hope for the development of adaptive surfing and the immediate impact we can make at home as well as the opportunity for our surfers to shine on the world stage as a future Paralympic discipline.”
Read the full report: 2021 Surfing England Adaptive Surfing Report
A huge thank you to Roger Sheridan from R and T Consulting for his work so far on this project.
For more information, please get in touch with [email protected]
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