Taste of freedom for disabled surfers

PEOPLE see Mike sitting in a chair and think he does nothing, but on Saturday Mike was free, in the ocean, with friends, family and fellow surfers.

About 200 surfers and volunteers headed to Maroochydore Beach for the Disabled Surfers Sunshine Coast event.

It coincided with the trialling of the new wheelchair accessible matting that Sunshine Coast Council has put down to allow access to the beach for people in wheelchairs, those unsteady on their feet, the elderly and strollers.

The council is seeking feedback on the matting to decide on its permanency.

At the surfing event on Saturday morning, it was smiles all round.

Mick Hawes took his daughter and said it was amazing to see people with disabilities smiling and having fun at the beach.

"There are kids down here that are world-class surfers and they're giving up their day today to help other kids feel what it's like out there in the waves," he said.

"It's a real community atmosphere out there."

Support worker Iain Haddon was looking after Mike. He said the surfing event let Mike have freedom and showed what he could do.

Topics:  beach coast cares disabled access surfing

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