Surf’s up for para squad

Para surfers from across the city and beyond are expected to gather at Muizenberg Beach at the weekend for the 2023 Tyrelife Solutions SA Para Surf Champs and Para Surf League Open powered by Ocean Freedom.

Surfer Noluthando Makalima, surrounded by the Roxy Davis Foundation volunteer team, at the WP Para Surfing trials earlier this year. Picture: Nina Lawrenson Photography

The competition, which has received a record number of entries this year, is both the South African Para Surfing Championships and forms part of the newly-launched Global Para Surf League, with the first stop of the global tour taking place in South Africa, said event co-ordinator Roxy Davis, who’s had a long-standing interest in working with the physically and mentally handicapped through various surf programmes.

Nasr Esau gets a helping hand during the WP Para Surfing trials. Picture: Nina Lawrenson Photography

In 2019, Davis, a nine-time South African surfing champion and surf coach who has led numerous Western Province surfing teams to victory at national championships, established the Roxy Davis Foundation, an NPO that aims to effect meaningful change in people’s lives by improving their mental and physical well-being through ocean-based therapy programmes.

National para surfer Raemondo Lessing, who represented South Africa at last year’s Para Surf Championships in Pismo Beach California, takes to the water at the WP Para Surfing trials held in April. Picture: Nina Lawrenson Photography

“The future global Para Surfing League event destinations include the USA, Costa Rica, Spain, France, and Wales. South Africa is proud to be the first stop on this international tour, and we are confident that our athletes will make a strong impression on the global Para Surfing community,” she said.

Squad pic….Surfers and Roxy Davis Foundation members gather for a group picture following the Para Surf trials in April. Picture: Nina Lawrenson Photography

“This event is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa and will feature some of the best para surfers in the world. This is an exciting opportunity for our talented para surfing athletes to compete on a global stage and showcase their skills and determination,” said Davis.

All South African athletes competing in the SA Champs 2023 will make themselves eligible for selection for Team South Africa that will be competing at the ISA World Para Surfing Championships in November 2023.

“As a country we are honoured to welcome the world’s top para surfers and this event represents a significant milestone for para surfing in South Africa and beyond.

“We are proud to showcase the incredible skills and determination of our para athletes, and to witness the remarkable progress and growth of the sport.

“This event is a true celebration of inclusivity, diversity, and excellence in surfing. We look forward to an unforgettable competition and to inspiring a new generation of para surfers in South Africa and around the world,” said Davis.

Damien Allman gets by with a little help from his friends from the Roxy Davis Foundation at the WP Para Surf trials. Picture: Nina Lawrenson Photography

“I would like to extend a warm invitation to everyone. Please join us this weekend as we support para surfing athletes competing in this prestigious event and surfing their way to the title of South African Para Surfing champion.”

• The 2023 Tyrelife Solutions SA Para Surf Champs and Para Surf League Open will take place from tomorrow, Friday May 19 to Sunday May 21, at Muizenberg Beach and is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa (SSA), the recognised national governing body for the sport of surfing and its disciplines in South Africa.

Para surfing, along with longboarding, bodyboarding, kneeboarding and Stand Up Paddle (SUP) surfing are all disciplines within the organisation. All international and national events are sanctioned by SSA.

For more information, email or call 071 670 0667.