Over 30 disabled surfers turned out for the Disabled Surfers Association of Australia (DSAA) Far North Coast Branch surfing event at Turners Beach, Yamba on Saturday.
Organisers were happy with the support they received on the day with around 60 volunteers assisting the disabled surfers.
More than 10 of the volunteers were young backpackers from Yamba’s YHA Backpackers Hostel who happily joined in to help out on the day.
Disabled surfer Liam Marynissen from the NSW Central Coast travelled up for the event with his family, staying with his grandmother who lives in Yamba.
Liam 19 has been surfing with the Disabled Surfing Association for around four years and his father Paul said that his son has benefited from his involvement with DSAA.
“It’s been wonderful for Liam and helped him with his coordination and balance,” said Mr Marynissen.
“It’s also helped Liam’s fitness levels and he’s lost over 20 kilos so far.
“It’s helped to get him out and about and keep him active and I can’t thank the organisers and volunteers enough.”
Clarence Head Long Board Club member Clancy O’Neill said that he has volunteered with DSAA a few times before and enjoys helping those less fortunate than himself.
“I got involved with DSAA through the long board club,” said Clancy.
“It makes me feel good to be able to help other people; to help out and make some other people happy too.”
Yamba resident and DSAA member John Mansfield said that he remembers being told some time ago by one disabled surfer, that the only time they find any freedom (from their disability), is when they are in the water.
“That’s what makes it all worthwhile,” said Mr Mansfield.
“What we take for granted – is special for them.”