THE ‘‘growing phenomenon’’ of beach wheelchairs has been afforded a boost in the Kiama region, ahead of the disabled surfing season kicking off next month.
Last Friday at Seven Mile Beach Holiday Park at Gerroa marked the official handover of a $4500 Sandcruiser beach wheelchair for the general disabled public’s use.
South Coast Disabled Surfers' Association spokesperson Jim Bradley praised Kiama Council’s willingness to embrace the growing phenomenon of beach wheelchairs being made available along the NSW East Coast.
“This Sandcruiser will now make two being made publicly available in the Kiama region - the other at Kiama’s main Surf Beach - and will place Kiama Council in good company with many other NSW councils who are embracing the move to make some of our beaches more accessible,’’ Mr Bradley said.
‘‘Slowly but surely, councils around Australia realise that disabled people have a right to access a beach where it’s appropriate.
‘‘This is one of the best beaches in Australia for people to walk.
‘‘The important thing is they (the chairs) are accessible.’’
Mr Bradley said the handover will bring the current total of these chairs from Kingscliff in the north, down to Pambula in the south, up to 63. There are more than 200 of them nationwide.
Those members of the public wishing to access the Gerroa beach wheelchair can access it from the office at Seven Mile Beach Holiday Park.
Their locations and availability can be found at the www.disabledsurfers.org website.
Mr Bradley also praised the efforts of Gerroa Boat Fisherman’s Club for raising the funds for the new chair on behalf of the Disabled Surfers' Association.