We  want  to  purchase  an  amphibious wheelchair for the event "AccesSurf Okinawa" for people with disabilities to play in the ocean!

 

Hello,my name is Taishi Otono. I started my profession working with the ocean since I saw the beautiful ocean of Okinawa. After I obtained the certificate of lifeguard, I established the NPO “Okinawa water patrol system”

 

As one of the activities of the NPO, I am putting a big effort on the project "AccesSurf Okinawa". It is established 2 years ago to create an environment for people with disabilities to try ocean sports such as surfing.

 

We hold the event twice a year.With 80 participants and it's basically a free event (We collect 500yen per person as insurance fee.),so we are doing our best with the limited budget. As of now,we are borrowing all the equipments from volunteering organizations.

 

We are getting by as of now, but we need to have more and better equipments for the future, considering the safety of the participants and the growth of the event.

 

I am hoping to purchase the equipments such as surfboards and rescue equipments with your help. We need your support.

 

I was very shocked and inspired when I first saw people with severe disabilities riding waves!

 

I was very shocked and inspired when I first saw the event "AccesSurf Hawaii" held by NPO in Hawaii 3 years ago. Not only people with mild disabilities, but even the people with severe disablities such as quadriparesis were enjoying surfing on actual waves, and the waves were not so small !

 

I decided to start a event like this in Japan,so I talked to my surfer friends and the organizations of day care centers for people with disabilities,and started this event "AccesSurf Okinawa" right after I came back to Okinawa.

 

We have held the even 5 times,twice a year so far. We started as less than 100 participants including the volunteers, but now we grew to be a big event with more than 300 participants and volunteers.

Surfing is such a big challenge for people with disabilities even with the care givers helping them.

 

Imagine if you are on a wheelchair and you want to swim in the ocean, but you can't even cross the sandy beach with a regular wheelchair. Even if you make it to the water, if your whole body is paralized, it is impossible to swim by yourself.  Plus, waves could be very dangerous.

 

When you are surfing, it is normal to fall in the water from the board,but if you have a severe paralysis, you cannot rotate your own body.So even with life jacket on, if you fall face down on the water,someone needs to help turn around so you can  breathe.

So there is a very big ,tall wall for a person with disability to try surfing on his/her own, or with care givers. I wish to get rid of the wall so they can easily enjoy surfing.

" It's been 20 years since I came to the ocean last time."

 

We got messages from people who had participated in the event .

 

"It was so much fun! Thank you so much, staff and the volunteers!"

 

"It's been 20 years since I dipped myself in the ocean. I was thinking that I'd never be able to feel the ocean water for the rest of my life, but you guys made it happen. Thank you so much!! I will never forget about today!"

 

  • It burns my eyes when the salt water gets on my face. But I loved it!! "

 

  • I want to participate in this event more often so maybe I can surf by myself in future!!"

 

"It's impossible even to take my child to the beach on my own. I couldn't even imagine him trying to surf!!"

It's not "Giving" . We are just enjoying the ocean together, it's just "Sharing what we love ".

 

As I hold this event, I tell all the volunteer staff about one thing.

 

I want volunteer staff to participate in this event with the mindset to "Enjoy together", and to share the love for the ocean.

 

Once you're in the ocean, we are all equal. It doesn’t matter if you have disability or not. There are people who cannnot swim even with no physical disability. There are people who are good swimmers with physical disabilities.

 

I personally think that the basis of volunteer activity is to "do what I can do when I can".

 

This event, where we get together with the similar mindset like that, we can always see the big smiles on the faces ,not only of the participants, but also of the volunteer stuff.

We  want to purchase a wheelchair that works both on the land in the water!

 

I am planning to purchase  "Chair boat"- an  amphibious  wheelchair(A wheelchair that can be used both on the land and in the water). "Chair boat " is necessary to transport a participant from the beach to the water.

 

And for the people with severe disabilities to dip in the water, we can use the "Chair boat"so they can go in the water while sitting on the chair.

 

The purpose of this event is not for walfare activity. It is to create an environment for people with disabilities to enjoy ocean and the beach as  sports.

If we can purchase better and more specialized equipments , we can be better prepared to accept more participants and to make the event more prepared.

 

Also, if we own the equipments, we will be able to let the participants borrow them after the event for personal use to enjoy the ocean.

I want to create the environment for people with disabilities to Access the wonderful surf overseas too.

 

Last year, A surfing contest for people with disabilities was held for the first time in the world. It was such an awesome news! I hope that someday, this event in Okinawa will develop to be bigger so we can participate in the big contest overseas.

 

Also, I am hoping to use the connection with the group in Hawaii so the participants in Okinawa can visit Hawaii to try surfing in Hawaii, or meet people .

 

We surfers travel around the world searching for waves. I hope that in future, people with disabilities can also travel the world to "Access" the wonderful waves in the world- to realize that dream, I hope to establish the system for them to be able to "Access" the ocean in Okinawa.

We need your support to purchase the amphibious wheelchairs for the people who were not able to be in the ocean .

 

Thanks mail
¥ 3000
Return for 3000yen

 ・Thanks mail
We will send you a thank you email from our heart.

 

AccesSurf Okinawa Original stickers
¥ 10,000
Return for 10000yen

・Thank you mail
・If you wish,we will put your name on our website(nick name or full name )
・AccesSurf Okinawa activity report
We will send you the activity report of our next event!
◆AccesSurf Okinawa Original stickers

 

Support the project
¥ 10,000
Return for 10,000yen

・Thanks mail
We will send you thank you mail from our heart.

We will use your all of the donated amount for the project.(No gift return)

 

【Only for first 30supporters!】AccesSurf Okinawa Original T-shirt
¥ 10,000
Return for
10,000yen
・Thanks mail
・We will put your name on our website

・ AccesSurf Okinawa Activity report
・AccesSurf Okinawa Original sticker

◆AccesSurf Okinawa Original T-shirt
Only the supporter throuh READYFOR can get our rare T-shirt with this design!

 

【Only first 30supporters!】AccesSurf Okinawa Original T-shirt
¥ 30,000
Return for
30,000yen
・Thanks mail
・We will put your name on our website
・AccesSurf Okinawa Activity report

・AccesSurf Okinawa Original sticker
◆Only the supporter throuh READYFOR can get our rare T-shirt with this design!

 

Support the project 30,000Yen

¥ 30,000 Return for 

30,000yen

Thanks mail from our heart

We will use all of your donation money for the project.

 

 

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