Spotyride presents today Handisurf, the association of the Basque Coast. The association aims to make everyone, regardless of their physical condition, take advantage of the joys of surfing, and train qualified instructors who will then be able to accompany and introduce people with disabilities to the joys of surfing safely.
The trained instructor as well as his surf school can learn to surf, or even offer advanced courses to all. This challenge brings many problems such as adapted material, adapted pedagogy from a French school during a coaching session with a person with a disability. We’re interviewing today Jean-Marc Saint-Geours !
Hello, I’ll let you introduce yourselves!
Jean- Marc Saint-Geours Founding Director of the National Handi Surf Association, Handi Surf is the only association to have the delegation of the French Surf Federation and the Ministry of Sports to develop the practice of handi surfing, para-surfing and para-surfing-adapted on French territory.
Can you tell us more about Handi-surf, its mission values?
Handi Surf is the only association in Europe, or in the world to provide to surf educators (nearly 500 to date) a training for the reception of people with disabilities in the practice of surfing.
It labels the structures throughout France «136 to date».
It is the only association in France to be able with the FFS and its deconcentrated organs, to set up training of para-surf and para-surf-adapted athletes for the competition and for the detection of future athletes of the teams of France.
It works with the Eurosima association for the reception of persons with disabilities in the world of companies in the world of sliding
It also intervenes in the reception of carers to take into account them for moments of respite and well-being by sliding sports “ home of carers unique in France in the field of sport”
What types of handicaps are instructors trained for?
It accommodates all types of handicaps, motor, sensory, psychic, mental, polyhandicapped etc..
How many active volunteers does the association have?
The association has about 36 people and about 350 to 400 more people in the certified structures besides the nearly 500 trained educators
(Active volunteers purely Handi-surf, then trainers handisurf in France/in the world)
“Since its creation in 2012, the Handi Surf Association has dedicated itself to “ensuring that the greatest number of people with disabilities can surf”,” today, how many people does this “greater number” represent?
The association and its certified structures welcome approximately 2,500 people per year “except this year with covid”
What has the Handi-surf experience brought you personally, to you and to other volunteers?
"In a totally unknown world, I rediscovered fraternity, sharing. I saw hope, envy and joy. By erasing the differences and discomfort through a shared practice of surfing. These smiles on these faces made me imagine the Handi Surf project. Able-bodied and disabled, hand in hand for surf and sharing sessions. In a privileged environment: the OCEAN!"
How can we help Handi Surf today?
Handi-surf is proving itself today as indispensable to the surf spirit and Spotyride is happy to help the association in its fight.