Physical disabilities no barrier to having fun in the water

Halberg Disability Sport Foundation adviser Dave MacCalman hopes that Raglan will become the Waikato hub for adaptive watersports.

On Sunday, about 20 physically disabled people had a go at surfing, stand-up paddleboarding and waka ama in Raglan as part of the Flight Centre Foundation Halberg Water Sports Day.  They included several children from Raglan and seven blind cricketers from Auckland.

The events took place at Ngarunui Beach and the Kopua Domain.

An adapted paddleboard was donated to Raglan Watersports so it can continue to give support and hold events for physically disabled Kiwis interested in getting out on the water.

It is hoped that the watersports day will attract twice has many participants next year.

“We’re looking to generate enough interest so that something can continue to happen here,” says Dave.

He says at Mt Maunganui the surfing community has committed to taking four surfing sessions for the physically disabled each season.

It was the fifth and final watersports day to be held by Halberg and the Flight Centre Foundation this year.

It was the first time that a watersports day was held in Raglan, and the second year the event has been running.

“It’s new territory,” says Dave, of getting disabled people involved in watersports. Halberg’s sporting events have mostly included land-based activities, such as basketball, cricket and athletics.

Dave, a former New Zealand Paralympian, says the idea is to normalise the inclusion of physically disabled people in sporting events.

“We should all be involved in sports and recreation, no exceptions.”

Inger Vos

For those that missed out or anyone wishing to be involved in creating next year’s events, contact davem@halberg.co.nz or Ross Ormsby: 021 665 627.

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