Disabled Surf Festival at Benone

Taking in the water for a surf at Benone at the weekend at the first Disabled Surf Festival. 1206sj104 Photo: Dessie Loughrey
Taking in the water for a surf at Benone at the weekend at the first Disabled Surf Festival. 1206sj104 Photo: Dessie Loughrey

Northern Ireland’s first Disabled Surf Festival took place on Saturday at Benone Beach.

The “amazing” festival was organised by Long Line Surf School, situated on Ireland’s longest beach stretching for seven miles, as well as being part of one of Ireland’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

One of the participants at the First Disabled Surf Festival atBenone this past weekend. 1206SJ105 Photo: Dessie Loughrey

One of the participants at the First Disabled Surf Festival atBenone this past weekend. 1206SJ105 Photo: Dessie Loughrey

The Long Line Disabled Surf Festival was created for young people with a disability aged 8-25 from all over the country to come down and take part in a free surfing experience which has never been offered to them before.

With the help and sponsorship from Disability Sports Northern Ireland, Coastal Core Lifeguard Trainers, Treasure Trails Northern Ireland and Fruice Drinks this festival brought over 30 people with disabilities together for the day where the family could take part with surfing, a treasure trail through the sand dunes and inclusive games.

Dan, organiser and owner of Long Line Surf School explained: “This festival was created to give everyone the experience of surfing. We want the child or young person with the disability to take the driver’s seat but we also wanted it to be one of those rare events where the whole family is allowed as parents, guardians and siblings jumped in the water as well.”

When it comes to safety Long Line Surf School thought of everything with every person surfing with a disability they had their own personal lifeguard beside them at all times and Long Line also created custom surfboards for wheel chair users which allowed them to lie on the front while holding onto handles and the instructor could hold on the back and steer the board so the person could get the experience of surfing without any great physical demands.

Participants dry off during the first Disabled Surf Festival at Benone at the weekend. 1206SJ100 photo: Dessie Loughrey

Participants dry off during the first Disabled Surf Festival at Benone at the weekend. 1206SJ100 photo: Dessie Loughrey

“This was a great day for everyone who took part and is an event to put on the calendar for next year. If you would like to see any more photos on this event check out Long Line Surf School on Facebook or email Dan at info@longlinesurfschool.co.uk,” added Dan.