Wheelchair user swimmer swamped with support
IT TOOK a bit of courage for Anne-Marie Howarth to put a swimsuit-clad photo of herself up on social media, but sometimes you have to take a risk to get results.
And 120 or so posts later, Anne-Marie looks like she may have found what she was looking for.
The 45-year-old, who moved to Noosa from Sydney with partner Chris, is wheelchair-bound following a 2005 motorcycle accident, and she is determined to return to peak fitness through continuing regular swimming at Main Beach.
While Noosa Surf Club has a chair with inflated wheels for people with a disability to traverse the beach and swim, it is virtually impossible to get back into it while in the water, so Anne-Marie decided to find someone who could help.
"I would like to pay someone $80 to go swimming with me at Noosa Main Beach of a weekday morning, around 7am," she posted.
With little surprise, the responses have poured in.
"(The wheelchair) floats high on the water; I can't get back into it," she told Noosa News on Wednesday.
"Other models have front wheels that dip into the water.
"(If one was available) I wouldn't need carrying - I could just swim right into it."
Partner Chris can sometimes join her and help out but, like Anne-Marie, he has an online business to run.
"And he's a lot fitter, and just swims off - I find it demoralising," she quipped.
But it looks like Anne-Marie may have found the perfect assistant, too, along with numerous back-ups and is meeting a potential candidate later this week.
And despite some offers to help her for free, Anne-Marie was determined to make it a business transaction for work done.
"It changes the dynamic (so) I'm not just asking a favour," she explained.
"I just want to get the right outcome that's flexible for (both of) us.
"People have great intentions, but they have to be there on the day."