WOW! Five Daring Service Users Take To The Water! September 2011
On a very sunny Friday in September, an excited group from Independence Homes, set off to a very special lake in Surrey run by the British Disabled Water Ski Association (BDWSA). BDWSA's Heron lake has been adapted for people with physical and learning disabilities, to help them go water skiing. It is fully accessible to wheelchairs, has specialist sports equipment and the instructors are fully qualified with lots of experience in supporting people with a range of needs.
Nobody really knew what to expect from the poster advertising an Open Day to try water skiing. Well, they soon found out that it was faster, wetter and MUCH more exciting than it looked on the poster! All their equipment was provided including; wetsuits, boyancy aids, helmets, skis and wakeboards for both regular and seated skiers. Genye said she was "very excited about it".Leanne, Paul, Matthew, Genye and Linda, went along from Liberty Court to the open day. They were helped by their support workers from Independence Homes. When they arrived they found the instructors were really nice, helpful and knowlegeable and put them at their ease.
The day started with rides on inflatable tow toys where you lie face down on the tow and get pulled along by a boat, this gave everyone a chance to get used to the water and being towed by a speedboat on a lake. Everyone really enjoyed this, especially Leanne who couldn't stop talking about it. When Leanne came in from her first ringo ride she screamed "that was great fun, I absolutely loved it!". Everyone said the water was much warmer than they had expected. Lunchtime was a fabulous BBQ held on the sun deck by the lake. After lunch the
instructors at BDWSA bought out the water skis and three people got into the water for their first attempt at waterski. Everyone managed to get going and do at least one length of the lake, which is really impressive for a first time! Genye was a complete natural, she was able to stand up straight away and even managed a wave for the camera! The team at BDWSA were really helpful and arranged a special ride around the lake on their motorboat at the end of the day for Matthew who really loved it. Paul was really keen to join and become a member so he can come back often and get better at it.
Everyone was really tired when they came home but Genye said "I'd love to do it again, it was very good bouncing up and down on the water, the boat went really fast".
What a great day and what a fantastic experience, it just goes to show how many things you can do, if you are willing to give it a try!
SEE LARGE IMAGES HERE
These fabulous images are courtesy of Peter Chinnock photography