"What's it like to feel the wind in your face Dad?"
Those were the words from CEO Nicky Banger's daughter Sophia (who has Cerebral Palsy), after hearing him talk about going on a motorbike. Well, as a father of a child with a disability, that gets you thinking as to all of the experiences that these beautiful children have to miss out on. Everything that involves disabled children has to be PC, and when it comes to Health & Safety and doing a 'risk assessment', it pretty much means that most experiences are ruled out...
Nicky met with one of our Patrons, Paul Flay from F1 Support, whose wife Karen happened to have been the British champion for Waterskiing. After a very quick conversation about this fabulous British Disabled Waterski Association, something we'd never heard of before, Paul had made a call and a meeting was booked in.
Unsure of what to expect, and if in deed young disabled children would be able to try this, Nicky booked in a session late last year for his daughter, knowing that he could see whether it would be a feasible option to try and arrange an experience day here for many young children. The picture above says it all really - Sophia, who relies on a wheelchair and is unable to walk, was not only able to waterski with two assistants, but in her afternoon session she managed to go solo, being in control of the rope and ski herself!
Yesterday was our first experience day for some of our families, where children who have a variety of disabilities, all came together to see what this 'waterskiing lark' is all about!
You can see from the faces that the whole day was a HUGE success! It was a little 'nippy' so lighting the firepit to add to the occasion was something that the children all seemed to enjoy. Oh, and the pizzas... how many pizzas! Well after burning so much energy on the water, and getting profoundly wet, we all had to refuel!!!
Some of the children also had a go in the inflatable boat that was being pulled along at quite a speed! There was absolutely no way to avoid being wet, and so the children all embraced it fully and had an absolute blast!
You can see more photos from this wonderful day on our gallery, but you know we were talking about refuelling with pizzas...