Suneden Special School Project – an extension of “Beach Access for All”
The Seacliff SLSC Suneden Special School Project is an 8 week programme created and conducted in partnership with Suneden Special School (a former UCF grant recipient). The programme is tailored to the needs of participants and teaches beach safety and water awareness skills which have positive impacts that reach far beyond these activities. Now entering its 3rd year, Seacliff SLSC have revised and improved the programme to ensure the best outcomes possible for participants.
Established in 1930, Seacliff Surf Life Saving Club (Adelaide, SA) has over 720 members including a strong youth program of over 220. They provide emergency search, rescue and medical services to the local community and significant tourist numbers along a 2km stretch of beach from Kingston Park to South Brighton.
The club has successfully managed projects and activities for the benefit of members and the community and demonstrate their commitment to inclusion and participation through the campaign “Beach Access for All”. The heart of this programme is for people with disability to have equal opportunity to participate in community sport and active recreation.
The Suneden project has been a wonderful extension of the Seacliff SLSC “Beach for All” campaign that includes the roll out mat, Commando 4-WD that helped students to the beach and water wheel chair (Mobi-chair) that participants really enjoyed. The Seacliff SLSC volunteers set the beach up every week for the young participants, transporting them to and from the school and assisting them in enjoying the beach.
The programme is run entirely by trained Club volunteers and who have expressed interest in the programme, however the young people often need specialised equipment to allow them to fully participate in the activities. Equipment needs include costly items such as all terrain wheelchairs, floating wheelchairs and wider paddle boards.
Seacliff SLSC applied to UCF to fund two wide foam surfboards. These boards are durable and specially made for learning in Australian surf conditions. They are appropriate for the specialist youth programme because they are learning/transition boards and are stable, lighter and wider for larger participants.
Expected outcomes include:
- 16 – 20 youth from Suneden Specialist School will receive specialist aquatic training which is a 50% increase from previous programmes.
- 20% increase in trained volunteers from Seacliff SLSC on our roster of volunteers (in addition to paid Instructors, each session requires 6-8 volunteers which we draw from approximately 16 volunteers)
- All participants showing a demonstrable improvement in their skills in water safety and beach/water survival topics covered.
- 100% of participants able to participate in the safe board use and body boarding skills component
- Improved balance, coordination and cardiovascular fitness for participants as assessed by volunteers and carers.
People with disability are 15% less likely to participate in sport and active recreation than the general population. The Suneden Special School programme seeks to engage with this cohort in a genuine and ongoing process in order to achieve positive outcomes for participants and their families and carers.
The UCF directors were pleased to award a grant of $2,000 to Seacliff SLSC to purchase the new surfboards which will allow more participants from Suneden to enjoy Adelaide’s fabulous beaches.