We have decided we are going to promise 10% of all our Sustainable Clothing profits straight back into our business to solely support our ‘Inclusive Surfing Programme’ Check out our Ethical clothing brand, backing Fulfilling & Important work within our community -Follow the link to support: www.rossnowlaghsurfschool.com

James Garvey Owner and manager at Rossnowlagh Surf School Surfing with Little James Carlin

James Garvey shares a wave with young James Carlin – “Our little James is a very special boy! He has a rare genetic disorder and it literally affects one in a million . James has extreme hypermobility, visual impairment and has a severe learning disability. He has always been a water baby and yesterday took it to a new level!”

What we do today in our Inclusive work
We regularly welcome kids & adults alike whom have been diagnosed with ADHD, Down syndrome, Autism… This shouldn’t be seen as an issue, and for us it is definitely not! Last summer we welcomed 10 family’s to our school to introduce them to surfing in our ‘Shake your Shaka’ programme to allow them to learn the basic surf skills to allow them to continue use it as therapy after the programme had finished – They bought surfboards and wetsuits and regularly return to the beach to enjoy the experience themselves.

Here’s a quote from Eleanor, One of the parents – “Seeing Catherine surf with the support of the instructors made our day.  – One other important thing that has come from this experience is she is now recognised by many in the community in Rossnowlagh. People stop and say “hi Catherine I saw you surfing” the social aspect of being recognised as the girl that surfs instead of the girl with the disability has an untold impact on her and the wider community.”

Nula – Your a legend – We love ya!

How we got here…
We grew up in a family surrounded by Inclusion – My mums work as a choreographer who specializes in forming dances based around inclusion – Growing up watching her creations was a great insight to the importance of inclusivity – Check out this article from one from the early 2000’s from one of her many many creations in Ballyshannon- Pretty amazing stuff! – https://www.irishtimes.com/news/dance-involves-the-able-and-the-disabled-1.246264

Carmel Garvey and Jade one of her dance students, Giving surfing a go!

The first time I seen inclusivity used in surfing was back around 2005 when my sister Amy-May (Now a psychiatric doctor) introduced Jude (Rossnowlagh local legend) to surfing on Rossnowlagh Beach- Jude has down syndrome – You can catch him regularly out cycling or kayaking with his father Damian on the beach! I vividly remember watching my sister and him on the same board, enjoying the natural therapeutic beauty of surfing a wave – You can see its a sensory heaven for both Jude and ourselves alike.

I just remember watching, feeling an overwhelming feeling of astonishment, once again – and thinking to myself – THIS IS INCLUSIVITY – THIS IS WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT!!

Bella our coach, gaining more experience with beach wheelchairs and a few great souls

What drives our Inclusive work…
We see it as an opportunity, an opportunity to help these kids and family’s enjoy the things that they rightfully deserve to enjoy – Some of these kids that joined us on our first kids camps have actually gone on to work for us today!

Our supporters…
We run several programmes with the help of Martin Mc Devitt & Therese Laverty from ‘Donegal inclusive sports partnership hub’ They actively support us in doing some amazing work within the community over the past few years – Our coaches & volunteers welcome around 20 students per week for a 4 week programme – 4 x times last year! https://activedonegal.com/ – We will be launching this again very soon, follow our social media to keep up with it all!

Some of these kids had not had the opportunity to do outdoor activity for 2 years; To see these kids now on the water laughing out loud, learning new skills and getting the sensory action they deserve under the eyes of our out standing coaches – It’s clear to say our Kayak & SUP programme at the lakeside Ballyshannon was a great success.

Gaining more experience and sharing our love of the ocean with these guys!

We got this beach wheel chair because of the efforts of two inspirational local women. Council staff members Diane Patton and Grainne Campbell teamed up recently to fundraise for a specialist wheelchair for public users at the South Donegal beach. Its available for anyone to book and stored at the sand house hotel with owner Paul Diver. It is great to watch our friends at local charity Liquid Therapy and their team continue to grow and develop as another brilliant way for kids to experience the therapeutic quality’s of the ocean – After all, That is what it is all about!!

This programme is of the utmost importance, We are promise to back it, by giving 10% of all our online Ethical clothing Profits, back into the business to allow kids, adults & family’s to get enjoyment from this programme

If you feel like you would like to help out with some of our programmes, or know any family’s that may want to avail of our programmes, Get in touch – Thanks for reading!

www.rossnowlagh surfschool.com Our Ethical clothing brand, backing Fulfilling & Important work within our community -Follow the link to support.

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