‘Smiles on dials’
The Disabled Surfers Association (DSAA), was established in 1986 by Gary Blaschke after a motorcycle accident in which he lost his knee cap and underwent extensive rehabilitation. Today there are 18 branches across Australia and New Zealand, creating opportunities for disabled participants and able bodied volunteers to experience unique, safe and happy surfing events, under supervision from trained team leaders and beach marshalls.
“I saw a void that needed to be filled, as over the years, many surfers with disabilities have unfortunately been loners with no-one to help them get back into the water. Many suffer from disabilities that the general public would not consider a disability. From asthmatics to joint injuries to paraplegia, many members have found friendship and support and have renewed their interest in surfing,” said Gary.
Gary has always been heavily involved in the communities in which he has lived. Hailing from Sydney and now residing at Lake Munmorah, he received an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2007 for his dedication to disability access and inclusion and environmental issues. He is determined to influence decision makers about the changes needed to make the region an even more active and passionate community. “We invite you along for this magical journey. We need volunteers in and out of the water so if you feel you would like to be a part of this amazing experience, please contact our committee members,” said Gary.
Further information can be found at http://disabledsurfers.org/