5 Benefits of Surfing for People with Disabilities
As an accessible activity centre in Devon, we’re always keen to shout about the benefits of spending time in the great outdoors and believe that everyone should be able to enjoy activities in the natural world.
Surfing is a highly active and exhilarating sport that engages both the mind and body – it is something that individuals of all abilities can experience and enjoy.
Not only does surfing give you an opportunity to appreciate the environment and get face-to-face with the natural world, but it’s all a brilliantly fun activity that provides an experience that can’t be replicated elsewhere.
Adaptive Surfing at Calvert Trust Exmoor
Surfing is our only off-site activity; if you opt for a surf-inclusive break, we’ll take the short trip to Croyde, one of the region’s most famous surfing beaches, where guests will be given engaging surf lessons taught by experienced surf instructors.
Surf Therapy for Mental and Physical Disabilities
These organisations we work with are pioneers in the area of surf therapy.
The Wave Project is part of a well-established scheme that facilitates surf therapy sessions designed to support young people with mental or physical conditions. It aims to help them build confidence, reduce anxiety and strive for that ‘I CAN do it’ attitude.
Since The Wave Project’s inception in 2010, surf therapy has become an NHS-recognised form of effective therapy, especially for young people.
Surf Therapy Research
The field still lacks an abundance of quantitative research, but the 2015 study Benefits of Surfing for Children with Disabilities: A Pilot Study from the University of Rhode Island remains a valuable resource and validates some of the thinking behind surf therapy.
The study touts the physical benefits of surfing for people with disabilities and also touches on the potential social and personal benefits the activity promotes.
Findings from the study concluded that the analysed surf therapy programme ‘improved numerous areas of physical fitness and is another activity that can be added to the repertoire of effective adapted aquatic exercise programs.’
Over the course of our surf sessions, we’ve seen our guests benefit from the activity in numerous ways. Below, we explore the top five benefits that accessible surfing can provide.
1. Surfing Can Improve Physical Fitness
Surfing is widely acknowledged as an intense form of exercise which involves healthy levels of aerobic activity. Surfing encourages participants to move their bodies in new ways, practising movements that are different from everyday activities.
The study mentioned above found that, overall, surfing improved the physical wellbeing of the participants.
Core body strength, aerobic capacity, increased grip strength and flexibility were all recorded as being improved after the surf programme study.
2. Surfing Cultivates an Environment of Support
Surfing can be an unforgettable experience, especially when participants are surrounded by an environment of encouragement and support.
Whether surfers are given lessons as a group or as an individual, they have the opportunity to form a trusting relationship with the instructor while also being encouraged to strive for feelings of independence and achievement.
3. Surfing Encourages Social Inclusion
Anecdotal evidence from various surf therapy studies and sessions has also highlighted the beneficial social aspects of surfing.
Even if the surf lessons are one-to-one, a network and sense of community is built up between everyone taking part. Surfing is an inclusive sport that promotes a supportive environment for participants to encourage each other and share one another’s successes.
The energetic nature of the activity allows for a great backdrop for making friends and forming connections.
4. Surfing Supports Confidence and Self Belief
Surfing may seem like a daunting activity at first, but with some guidance from a dedicated instructor and some time in the water, guests will be surprised by how quickly they take to the sport.
Taking part in surfing activities can help boost an individual’s sense of self, helping to improve confidence, self-esteem and a feeling of belonging.
These feelings are incredibly important to developing a positive personal perception. By sparking these feelings towards oneself, the desire to feel challenged is also boosted.
5. Surfing is a Fun Experience
Aside from all those other benefits, surfing is just plain fun, which many of our guests will certainly attest to!
Surfing is a unique sport that pushes individuals to learn numerous new skills, including balance and furthering water knowledge, all while being in a safe and supportive environment where individuals are primarily encouraged to be themselves and have fun.
The accessible surfing activities that we offer here at Calvert Trust Exmoor are available to both children and adults. Specialist beach equipment and adaptive surfboards are also provided to ensure everyone can take part comfortably.
Please note that surfing trips are not included in a standard break package. To find out more about our surf experiences or any of our other accessible activities and disability holidays, please get in touch.
Tips for Choosing an Accessible Activity Holiday
Here at Calvert Trust Exmoor, we are dedicated to providing accessible holidays for everyone to enjoy. With this in mind, we have selected some hints and tips to help you choose your dream activity break.
Research What the Provider Means By the Term ‘Accessible’
When choosing an accessible holiday, it is essential to make sure the holiday provider is equipped to meet all your requirements.
Where a provider describes themselves as ‘accessible’, you may need to enquire into what facilities they have and if they are relevant to what you need.
One idea might be to check that showering facilities are fitted with any further aids needed. For example, a simple one would be a shower without a step.
Here at Calvert Trust Exmoor, our activities and accommodation are accessible to all, no matter your needs. We are equipped with specialist facilities which means we can ensure that all our guests are catered for, and all requirements are met.
Our accommodation is built to ensure all our guests have a comfortable setting when staying with us and a selection of our bedrooms feature h-track ceiling hoists. We also provide other rooms with mobile hoists.
Please take a look at our accessibility statement for more information about our site facilities.
Consider the Location and the Activities You Would Like to Try
What you achieve on your holiday will likely depend on where the site is located and what is available in the area.
Perhaps you would like to try water-based activities? Would you prefer to be a travelling distance to the sea? Are you keen to learn some bushcraft skills? These desires need to be taken into consideration and locations chosen accordingly.
Our accessible site in Exmoor is situated in the perfect part of the country for a variety of activities. To name a few, they include :
• Water-based activities such as canoeing and sailing on the stunning Wistlandpound Reservoir
• Accessible cycling
• Abseiling and climbing in our indoor and outdoor facilities
• Equestrian sports in our indoor and outdoor arenas
• Swimming in our indoor heated pool or relax in our Jacuzzi
We are also in partnership with Surf South West and the Wave Project, based in the beautiful surf village of Croyde. This fantastic opportunity allows us to offer our guests one to one surfing lessons!
And don’t worry about the weather, we have a selection of rainy day activities for our guests to try, meaning that typical English drizzle will never get in the way of a fun-filled accessible activity break with us!
Ensure the Site Has a Focus on Providing High-Quality Staff
So much of an activity break is dependent on the joy and expertise provided by the instructors and staff at the site.
Making sure the site promotes professionalism and invests in employees with the skills required to ensure the safety of guests amongst their staff is essential.
Here at Calvert Trust Exmoor, we are dedicated to safeguarding the welfare of children, young people, vulnerable adults and our staff.
To ensure this, our staff must comply with the following:
• Provide two satisfactory references
• Complete a satisfactory check by the Disclosure and Barring Service (previously names the CRB check)
• Complete a probationary period of at least three months
All our staff are fully qualified and have received specialised training. We like to allocate one continuous staff member to the activity group for the duration of the stay. This is so you can form a trusting relationship which ensures all needs are met so you can get the most out of your time with us!
Consider Your Leisure Time
After a busy day of activities, you may need a relaxing place to sit and unwind and to take some time out for yourself.
At our site, we have a selection of places for both socialising and relaxing. You can choose to hang out in:
• The Barn bar and games room
• The TV room
• The sensory room
• Our conservatory and dining rooms
• Our lovely courtyard garden
Looking into other little extras provided by the activity site, such as Wi-Fi, may also be worth researching, especially if you would like to contact home to tell everyone about your achievements!
At Calvert Trust Exmoor, our Wi-Fi is free and is available in Reception, the Barn Bar, the Acland Room and the Courtyard.
Think About if You Would Like a Fully Inclusive Stay
Consider what food requirements you need for your stay. For example, would you need meals supplied?
Furthermore, would you prefer everything to be onsite? Our accessible site in Exmoor provides a fully inclusive experience. The total price will include:
• All activities
• Food and drink
• The use of the swimming pool
• The use of the sensory room
• Evening entertainment
Some of our apartments are also complete with a kitchen. We can cater for a variety of circumstances such as residential trips, families and individuals. We also provide an onsite shop which can help out with any forgotten necessities, so you needn’t unnecessarily leave the site!
Check Reviews and Testimonies
It is always best to do your research before committing to a holiday! We would recommend taking the time to read the company’s reviews and testimonies on their website.
If you would like to know more about our guests’ experiences, take a look at our guest stories. Here you can see how the Calvert experience has provided accessible holidays for so many different guests, families, residentials and groups.
Hopefully, we have provided you with some helpful advice so you can book your next holiday!
If you have any other handy hints and tips, we would love to hear from you on our social media channels!
We are proud providers of charity holidays for the disabled in Devon and are committed to ensuring all our guests can achieve what they want on their stay. If you would like to know about the breaks we offer, we would love to chat with you! Please feel free to contact us on 01598 763221 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Having fun isn’t only possible in the sun! Here at Calvert Trust Exmoor, we offer an array of accessible, outdoor adventure activities in Devon which can be enjoyed come rain or shine. Whatever the weather, our activities will continue as long as our instructors feel they are safe. It is worth noting that the water activities we provide are only available between the months of April and October. With the incentive of staying dry in mind, we have selected a few of our indoor based activities as well as those which do not depend on good weather that you can expect to experience while staying with us. Calvert Trust Exmoor is an accessible site that provides adventure activities for people of all capabilities, ages, experience and confidence levels.
The Giant Swing
Intending to improve self-belief, the giant swing is a fun activity which has been implemented as a sensory experience for all to enjoy. Situated in our indoor activity centre, our adaptive harnesses and supports can be customised for each individual and fulfil any requirements they may need. It’s up to you how high you would like to go. Just pull the release when you feel ready and away you go! If you would like to push yourself, we can heighten the hoist, or if you would like a relaxed swing, we will always make sure you feel safe and secure.
The Crate Stack Challenge
An excellent activity which can be used to bring together and improve the relationships between groups and school communities. It is a fantastic experience that can test problem-solving abilities and as a result, increase feelings of self-confidence upon completion. It is an activity which can be accessed by all, including wheelchair users.
Our horse-riding sessions are only available on weekdays unless we have organised one of our ever-popular horse weekends. Our courses encompass extra activities such as learning to communicate with horses and understanding the behaviours of the animal. Stable management is also a possibility if guests would like a closer experience with the horses. It is the opportunity to groom, tack up and muck out as well as completing horse agility sessions. For children who are unable to support themselves, we can organise a tandem ride which is the arrangement of a member of staff sitting behind a child and acting as spinal support. For those who are unable to horse ride due to specific medical reasons, carriage riding is an alternative activity that we can provide.
Here at the Calvert Trust Exmoor site, our centre has many facilities to enjoy, including an indoor swimming pool. Fitted with specialist equipment, each person of any capacity or with any condition can access the pool. Heated to a minimum temperature of 30 degrees, you can enjoy being in the water without any chance of feeling cold. Complete with a Jacuzzi, it is a lovely way to spend some leisure time while staying at our accessible site.
While this isn’t an indoor activity, why be concerned about the rain when you are already in the sea? Surfing is a challenging but fulfilling sport which can be enjoyed in the sun or accompanied by rain. Our Calvert Trust Exmoor site is in proud partnership with both Surf South West and the Wave Project, and we love including surfing as an accessible activity for our guests. Our new one to one lessons are a welcome introduction and provide even further learning opportunities than our usual sessions of ten guests to one instructor. Surfing can be a fantastic sport for those with disabilities, for more information, take a look at our previous blog.
After an exciting day challenging yourself in a fun and safe setting with our qualified instructors, our beautiful site has many areas you can enjoy and unwind in. Our courtyard is a peaceful place to sit back and reflect on the day. The Barn bar is a hub for socialising and a great place to share your stories from the day. The games room is available for guests entertainment, and the TV room is a place to relax for a bit. Our accommodation is complete with free Wi-FI in all communal areas if you would like to report back home about your fun-filled day.
If you would like to know more about the adventure breaks we offer, including our themed breaks, and would like some guidance on the booking process, we would love to hear from you. Please feel free to ring us on 01598 763221 or e-mail us at email@example.com.