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South Africa: physically challenged persons learning to surf

South Africa: physically challenged persons learning to surf

South Africa

Muizenberg Beach in Cape Town, South Africa, attracts surfers from all over the world.

Thanks to an initiative by the Surf Emporium school, physically challenged adults and children can now also discover the joy of the waves.

“Being in the water and feeling the movement again is really special”, said tetraplegic surfer, Pamela Hansford.

The initiative was born by Roxy Davis, surf champion and founder of Surf Emporium. For her, surfing is not only a simple sport, but also a way to reintegrate these physically challenged persons, while promoting social diversity.

‘‘I love it! Whether you are an able-bodied or disabled surfer, I love watching surfers take wave after wave, their passion, whether it’s their tenth wave, their tenth surfing session or their very first time, whether they’re on the front line or in the back, that joy and passion are the same, and it gives me the same goose bumps with each wave in each session”, Davis said.

For the mother of a child with autism, it is also an opportunity to share a playful moment with his family.

“We felt like we were flying, it was incredible. They showed us how to take care of him in the water, how to hold the surfboard and how to surf behind him, and it was an incredible experience”, Chloe Murdoch said.

With more than 2,500 kilometres of coastline, surrounded by two oceans, South Africa is a real playground for surfers and water sports enthusiasts, attracting surfers of all levels.

The country also holds 6 world championship titles in the discipline.


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