Mickey ReganMary KellyTim Rickerby
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Disabled Surfing Festival at Benone Beach

Posted on July 2, 2012 @ 1:21 PM in Local Outdoors

Northern Irelands first ever Disabled Surf Festival took place this summer at Benone Beach organised by Long Line Surf School based in the area of outstanding natural beauty, 

The Long Line Disabled Surf Festival was created in order for young people with a disability aged 8-25 from all over the country to come down and take part in a free surfing experience which has never been offered to them before. With the great help and sponsorship from Disability Sports Northern Ireland, Coastal Core Lifeguard Trainers, Treasure Trails Northern Ireland and Fruice Drinks this festival brought over 30 people with disabilities together for the day where the family could take part with surfing, a treasure trail through the sand dunes and inclusive games.

Organiser Dan Lavery and owner of Long Line Surf School explained “This festival was created to give everyone the experience of surfing. We want the child or young person with the disability to take the driver’s seat but we also wanted it to be one of those rare events where the whole family is allowed as parents, guardians and siblings jumped in the water as well.”

When it comes to safety Long Line Surf School thought of everything with every person surfing with a disability they had their own personal lifeguard beside them at all times.  Long Line also created custom surfboards for wheelchair users, allowing them to lie on the front whilst holding onto handles, with the instructor holding on the back and steering the board so the person with disabilities could get the experience of surfing without having to use any physical demand.

To find out more about disabled surfing and for more photos on the Disabled Surf Festival, check out Long Line Surf School on Facebook www.facebook.com/pages/Long-Line-Surf-School/120935328006155 or email Dan at info@longlinesurfschool.co.uk

Claire Overend
Claire Overend  Venture Outdoor Development Officer

Claire has been has been in the Outdoor Recreation NI team since 2010. As Development Officer for the Venture Outdoors Project she is responsible for creating opportunities for those from disabled, minority ethnic and socially disadvantaged communities to enjoy Northern Ireland's outdoors.

Claire is a keen mountain biker and snow sports enthusiast.

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