UK surf therapy charity The Wave Project welcomed disabled surfers from across the country to take part in their 2021 Summer Surf Challenge at Watergate Bay in Newquay.

A team of trained surf instructors and volunteers guided 50 disabled people as they took to the waves for a fun-filled surf taster session, which saw a lot of the participants riding a wave for the very first time.

The charity is based in Cornwall, and boasts 40 staff and 1,500 trained volunteer surf mentors across the country who have helped 5,000 young people access surf therapy courses. They have also expanded across the southwest of England to North Yorkshire, and to Scotland and Wales. They aim to improve the wellbeing and confidence of young people who live with mental ill-health or experience social exclusion.

The Summer Surf Challenge is an annual event that takes place each year in Cornwall, and provides disabled people of all ages with the opportunity to try the exciting sport of surfing for free. Previous attendees of the Summer Surf Challenge include pro surfers Russell Winter, Hannah Harding, Tom Butler, and Lucie Donlan. The event comes just before the 2021 English Adaptive Surfing Open, which will be held this Thursday (8 July) at The Wave in Bristol. The even will see adaptive surfers from across the globe competing for glory.

Joe Taylor, CEO and founder of The Wave Project, said: “The Summer Surf Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for people with disabilities to access the proven, evidence-based benefits of surfing that many of the young people at our projects enjoy. The Wave Project is committed to providing these opportunities and we’re focused on welcoming many more young people with disabilities to our sessions over the coming years.”

To find out more about The Wave Project and get involved in adaptive surfing opportunities near you, visit the charity’s website: waveproject.co.uk.

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