Life Rolls On event gives people with mobile disabilities a chance to surf
Published Saturday, August 17, 2019 6:11PM ADT
Last Updated Saturday, August 17, 2019 6:29PM ADT
More than 60 surfers with mobility issues hit the waves at Martinique Beach on Saturday for the annual Life Rolls On event.
Life Rolls On is presented by SurfAble, an organization that connects people living with disabilities with an opportunity to surf.
"Just go in and give-er. I put my elbows out onto the board and that's about all I need to posture myself, and then after that it's all fun and sun and catching the waves," said surfer Jay Everett.
"We're no longer looking at the body as a barrier," said Chrissy Merrigan, a board member of SurfAble. "We're looking at the land. The sand is the barrier, it's not the people. So, once we get that barrier taken care of, they're out in the water."
Merrigan helps organize the event, finding more than 120 volunteers who work in teams with individual surfers.
Volunteers in the shallow waters are often medical professionals, while experienced surfers are out in the deeper water acting as guides.
"They're there to judge the waves, make sure the water is safe, call if it's too much, and just make sure that everything is copacetic in the water," said Merrigan.
With a team of volunteers to help, Ronnie Davis participated in the event on Saturday, having no trouble making his way into the water.
"It feels good, it feels safe… Blast from the past!" said Davis.
"He just loves it. The people are amazing. He'll talk about that for a good year," said Brenda Davis, Ronnie Davis's mother.
Everett has attended nearly every year since the event started in 2014. He says it is the highlight of his summer.
"I feel down to the water because it's been most likely a year since I've been in the water. So, it's one of those amazing feelings to know that you're about to be in that cathartic place," said Everett.
Saturday's event is the only Canadian stop on this year's tour.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Emily Baron Cadloff