Bristol has become the first city in the UK to host an adaptive surfing competition.
The Wave hosted 21 para athletes in the 2020 Korev Lager English Adaptive Surfing Open, which Surfing England hopes will build the case for national funding to be made available to support this rapidly growing para-sport.
The Wave is a ground-breaking, inland surfing destination that opened in 2019 in Easter Compton.
Surfing England CEO, Ben Powis, said: “Adaptive surfing continues to go from strength to strength, with the Team England Adaptive crew home to some of the world’s best.
“We want to showcase the amazing talent that is out there and help raise awareness of the sport – with the ultimate aim of it being funded at a national level and included in the Paralympics.”
The event at The Wave on Saturday was the fourth annual English Adaptive Open and the first time the event has taken place on an inland surfing lake.
The Wave is particularly well suited to catering to those with adaptive needs, due to its accessible design, and the range and quality of the waves produced by its wave-making technology.
The Wave founder, Nick Hounsfield, said: “Ever since I started to think about creating The Wave, I knew that it had to be truly accessible for all.
“We designed the place with adaptive surfing at the very core what we want to deliver and made sure that people of all abilities would be able to share the many physical and mental health benefits of surfing.”
He added: “Having the 2020 English Adaptive Surfing Championships at The Wave is literally a dream come true, both for me but also for all our staff and supporters who have helped build my vision for The Wave.”
Main photo of Llewellyn ‘Sponge’ Williams by Image Cabin