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Smile on the waves

IF you want proof that community spirit is alive and well along the Coffs Coast then all you needed to do was get down to Woolgoolga beach on Saturday morning.

When the Mid North Coast Disabled Surfers Association held one of their 'Let's Go Surfing' days on Saturday, there were an amazing 80 volunteers on hand to help 13 disabled people try their hand at surfing.

It was a case of many hands making light work with DSA surfing, and every volunteer left with the memory of putting some extraordinary smiles across the faces of those catching a wave.

Impressing everyone was local Federal MP Luke Hartsuyker attending as a volunteer.

Hartsuyker couldn't wait to jump in the water to help out and he will be helping the DSA next month when he does a charity ride around the Cowper electorate to raise funds for the association.

But the real highlight of the day was the troopers getting out into the surf.

Some of the 13 were veterans from previous Let's Go Surfing events while some were anxious newcomers.

It didn't take long for the group to settle into the event and have a great time.

It will be a long time before those present will forget Bernice, a blind and mildly autistic 12-year-old girl, who had never been anywhere near a surfboard.

After captivating everyone with her enthusiasm she caught a few waves lying down then proceeded to stand up and surf to shore assisted by a volunteer.

There was rousing applause and more than the odd tear being shed.

Young Patrick also managed to stand up and got one great wave all the way in. His celebration dance that followed on the beach had to be seen to be believed. Local boy Jordan also got out there and managed his usual handful of good waves with the boys.

The next Let's Go Surfing day will be in March at Scotts Head.

Anyone who wishes to help is asked to log on to www.disabledsurfers.org or to contact Chris Allen on 0437 274 474.



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