The Bermagui Surf Club has joined more than 50 other clubs across the country in launching the Same Wave program.
The first program was held at Horseshoe Bay Beach on Saturday, February 2 from 9.30-11am.
Same Wave is a program for people with additional needs which may include physical or intellectual disabilities and is open to participants of all ages and abilities.
Some may never have been in the ocean before while others will be seasoned swimmers. The program has activities designed to meet the needs of all participants.
The Bermagui Surf Club ran pilot sessions of the program last summer, but is picking it up on a permanent basis this year.
A spokeswoman from the Bermagui Surf Life Saving Club said the program was part of Surf Life Saving’s commitment to being an inclusive organisation.
“We’re dedicated to being open to all members of the Australian community, and providing a safe environment for all who choose to participate in surf lifesaving activities,” she said.
“Same Wave is an opportunity for us to live these words, and to provide a valuable service to those of all ages in our community who may not be able to participate in other surf club programs.”
Some of the benefits that Same Wave has offered participants across the country include an increased knowledge of beach safety, improved wellbeing, skill development, and a better understanding of lifesaving work.
The benefits aren’t just for participants however, as volunteers will have an increased understanding and respect for people with disabilities, and parents/carers will have the opportunity to take some time and relax on the beach.
The surf club’s spokeswoman said the club is looking forward to getting stuck in to the program on a long-term basis.
“Same Wave is an exciting program for Bermagui, and the coordinating team at the Bermi Surf Club is looking forward to watching all involved develop their confidence and skills at the beach and in the water,” she said.
“Everyone gets a kick out of seeing the enjoyment on the faces of the Same Wave buddies as they conquer activities they may never have previously thought possible.”
The Surf Club is always looking for more volunteers to help with programs at the beach and would like to encourage anyone interested in helping out to contact the Same Wave coordinator Rachel Wallbank at firstname.lastname@example.org.