Foundation to help disabled surfers catch the waves in York ME


YORK BEACH, Maine – An organization that offers disability-friendly sports will be hosting a surf event at Long Sands Beach on Thursday, July 29 and Thursday, August 12.

The Brunswick-based non-profit organization hosting the event, Equip for Life Foundation, will have qualified instructors, wetsuits and boards for approximately eight to 10 people who register to participate in the Gear Up for Surf events.

Tara Nau, founder of Equip for Living, said she was inspired to start offering adapted sports through a close relationship with her younger brother, Aaron, who is profoundly deaf, uses American Sign Language for the communication, a spastic cerebral palsy, premature dementia and uses an electric wheelchair.

“Keeping him active is a challenge and a passion for me; however, it can be quite costly,” she said. “I realized that many people with special needs are not as active as they would like due to the cost of the equipment needed for activities such as horseback riding, skiing, biking, sailing and surf.”

Adapted sports are competitive or recreational sports for people with disabilities and allow the modifications necessary to participate.

Nau said the foundation’s goal is to raise funds to provide scholarships for adults with special needs by funding suitable equipment, therapeutic treatments and activities not covered by insurance, with an emphasis on maintaining an active lifestyle. The Equip For Living Foundation has engaged in programs ranging from ice fishing to water skiing, and now to surfing.

Liquid Dreams Surf Shop, which has stores in York and Ogunquit, will provide instructors, wetsuits and boards, and York Beach Ocean Rescue will be on hand to provide safety, Nau said.

The event starts with registration at 4:30 p.m. and ends at 7:00 p.m., and there will be lifeguards and surf instructors certified by the Lifesaving Association of the United States as per the special event permit. Pre-registration is required by contacting Tara Nau at [email protected]

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