Fuerte Tibu is a Surf school in Fuerteventura (The Canary Islands in Spain) where people with disabilities can enjoy this sport as everybody.
Fuerteventura’s geographical location allows for surfing activities all year long. Good waves, good weather and professional monitors are the main reasons why you don´t have to miss the chance to surf in this beautiful island.
To know much more about adaptive surfing, I talked with Pilar, who is driving a program in Fuerteventura island and I´m pleased to share with you all the information in this post. For sure, after you read it you will wish to start your surf lessons right now.
A BIT OF HISTORY
Pilar did practices in another surf school in Cantabria (north of Spain) which works with people with
disabilities. Most of the customers (with disabilities)had Autism or another intellectual disability, and she realised that surfing was a therapy itself, she means, people forget everything when they are in the water, and sometimes they do not need anything else, just the contact with the sea is enough to be in calm.
After her practices in 2009, she went back to Fuerteventura to start her project. In that year Pilar opened Fuerte Tribu Surf School and begun to prepare all the documentation to make adaptive surf courses.
Between 2009 and 2015 Pilar and Fuerte Tribu, were cooperating with other surf schools that in summer went from Cataluña and Cádiz to Fuerteventura with groups of young people with disabilities to make their courses. In 2015 the school did its first adapted surfing match and started with the adaptive surf until now.
According to the type of disability, the program will be different for each person or group.
The first thing Fuerte Tribu does is an interview with the participant to know his or her needs and make a personal plan.
For Pilar, surfing has to be therapeutic and funny, as she said is much easier learn something when you are having fun.I give you the details about accessibility according to different types of disabilities.
ACCESSIBILITY IN THE BEACH:
Four parking spots available in Playa Blanca.
An amphibious chair and a helper are provided by us to access the sea from the walkway.
Toilet fitted with grab bars.
DURING THE ACTIVITY:
FOR PEOPLE WITH REDUCED MOBILITY:
An amphibious chair and a helper are provided.
Special surfboard with ropes on both sides to hold on.
Two monitors per person.
FOR VISUAL IMPAIRED
A wide surfboard that allows the monitor to go back and guide.
Two monitors per person.
Possibility to have a sign language interpreter in Italian.
TWO REAL CASES: CRISTOPHER AND MARIO
Mario and Cristopher are two examples of personal improvement, they are surfers with disabilities.
Mario is a nine years child with autism. He is surfing one year, and his progress is amazing.
Surf monitors and therapists work together to give Mario a daily routine. They are with Mario all the time helping him if he needs them, but one of the principal purposes of this program maximizes the autonomy of the participants. For example, when Mario arrives at the school he has to say hello to everybody, asks for his board, dresses, talks with the monitor, etc.
After one year Mario can communicate with monitors and surf alone standing up on the board and catching waves.
Cristopher is nineteen years, and he has paralysed half of his body. Last year he started a course with a general group, and now he can stand up on the board and catch waves without any help.
Usually, at the school, they do not mix the groups because the way to teach is different, Cristopher´s case was an exception with an impressive result.
These are just two examples of two people who surf helps them. Would you like to be next one catching waves?? 😉
Usually, Fuerte Tribu works with people during all year, but if you are interested in try surfing or improve it in a new place, you can do it with them. Here is the program (in Spanish) if you live in Fuerteventura: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/54b6b903e4b0fee4b0131211/t/57ee23f6e3df28e138452cde/1475224566943/SURFADAPTADO2016spresupeusto+%284%29.pdf
If you don´t live in Fuerteventura, they also have a one week program, or you can ask for individual lessons if you are interested.Enjoy your holidays as much as you can. Fuerteventura can give you the chance to be laying on the beach during all year long due to the lovely weather.
Dare to do something different, feel the ocean, the wind, freedom, smile, have fun… but mostly, do whatever you want.
Languages availables: Spanish, English and Italian.
One of the main problems that Pilar has found in her way during these years has been the financial recourses. That kind of program as most of the programs related with disabilities are expensive. For example, in a standard lesson, there is one monitor per 6- 7 participants. In the case of people with disabilities, it has to be two monitors per each participant plus some extra aids such as an amphibious wheelchair, special boards, therapists… Everything increases the price, that´s means that people with disabilities also have inequality in the access to this activity due the difference in the price.
In 2017 Fuerte Tribu has received from the Inter-Island Council of Canary Islands and DISA Foundation a financial help which permits give surf lessons in August for free two days per week and reduce the prices during the rest of the year. The financial support is vital to keep doing these activities and give everybody the same opportunities at the same price. This is another way to fight for the equality and inclusion.
In September 2017 will be the third adapted surfing match where they will announce the group of participants of their next project NEW WAVES CINEMA SCHOOL. Keep reading the post if you want to know more about that awesome project.
NEW PROJECT: NEW WAVES CINEMA SCHOOL.
New Wave Cinema School is a collaborative project between Fuerte Tribu and Polifilm Media, a production company in Scotland.
This workshop is designed for children and youth with mental and physical disabilities, offering a voice to tell their stories about their relationship with the ocean and surfing and sharing their daily reality.
With this workshop, they also pretend to give the participants the opportunity to show us their vision of life and sport from the beginning, participating in the film and production of a documentary that will be presented at the next edition of the CANARIAS SURF FILM FESTIVAL.
Do you like that project? Don´t you think it is very interesting? Yoy have the chance to give them your support for this new adventure in the following link
And that´s all for today; I hope to see you soon enjoying the waves in Fuerteventura with my friends of Fuerte Tribu, I´m sure they will make you enjoy the ocean as much as you wish. PURA VIDA my friends.