Adaptive Surf Clinic spreads joy of Surfing to athletes with physical challenges
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The historic second edition of the 2016 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship presented by Vissla and the City of San Diego was officially declared open in La Jolla, California on Thursday afternoon. 77 adaptive surfers from 22 countries gathered for the Opening Ceremony, celebrating the record-breaking edition of the event, which featured 69 surfers from 18 countries at the inaugural edition in 2015.
Thursday morning kicked off with the Stance ISA Adaptive Surfing Clinic hosted by Junior Seau Foundation Adaptive Surf Program and presented by Challenged Athletes Foundation. More than 25 adaptive surfers gathered to receive expert instruction from top adaptive surfers and instructors, fostering the future growth of the sport.
“To me the Adaptive Surfing Clinic is the best part of the whole event,” said USA Adaptive Surfing Champion Dani Burt. “We get to take the kids out in the water and show them what it is all about. Our goal is to foster the next generation and broaden the scope of Adaptive Surfing.”
The Opening Ceremony followed in the afternoon with the Parade of Nations and the traditional ISA Sands of the World Ceremony. During the Parade of Nations each country marched down the ocean front boardwalk at La Jolla Shores displaying their national pride and chants.
Dignitaries in attendance at the ceremony included co-founder and President of Stance, John Wilson, San Diego Council President, Sherri Lightner, City Council Member, Lori Zapf, Assistant Director of Park and Recreation of the City of San Diego, Andy Fields, and ISA President Fernando Aguerre.
Upon arriving to the stage the international Adaptive Surfing Community was greeted by ISA President Fernando Aguerre:
“Today we are again making history. Last year we rode the first waves of the Adaptive Surfing swell, and we are building where we left off to continue to grow and develop the sport.”
“The quality and the kindness of a society is evident in the way it treats diverse people, in how it creates a level playing field for all. This Adaptive World Championship is our way of honoring this special surfing community.”
“Not everyone will go home with medals, but everyone here is a champion. You have arrived here to represent your countries and the sport of Adaptive Surfing. Please enjoy these beautiful days of celebration and go home as ambassadors of Adaptive Surfing and San Diego, and continue spreading the joy of the sport to others.”
The ceremony continued with the Sands of the World Ceremony, where each team poured sand from their local beaches into a clear container, symbolizing the peaceful gathering of nations of the world through Adaptive Surfing.
Adding a unique performance to the ceremony, the Wheelchair Dancers Organization put on a wonderful special dance for the National Delegations.
John Wilson, Co-Founder and President of Stance, followed, explaining why Stance decided to step up their support for this year’s edition of the event.
“Our purpose is to identify human creativity and showcase those who broke the rules and were rewarded. We are humbled by the challenge and the opportunity to uncover the stories and root for the underdogs, outcasts and outliers who are true to their hearts. That is why we want to be part of such a unique event. We are looking forward to meeting new friends, celebrating Surfing and having a good time.”
San Diego Council President Sherri Lighter followed, including a San Diego City Council Proclamation declaring December 8, 2016 as International Surfing Association Adaptive Surf Day.
“It is an honor to welcome you all once again to the City of San Diego. We think this is the best place in the world and we hope that you will return after the event. Please get out and explore what our great city has to offer, including our wonderful beaches.”
To conclude the ceremony, the flag bearer from every competing nation took to the stage and waved their flags with pride as ISA President Fernando Aguerre officially declared the competition open.
The schedule for the first day of competition is as follows:
- 2 heats AS-4 (Prone) – 8am-8:40am
- 3 heats AS-5 (Assist) – 8:40am – 9:40am
- 2 heats AS-VI (Visually Impaired) – 9:40am – 10:20am
- 2 heats AS-3 (Upright) – 10:20am – 11:00am
- 5 heats AS-2 (Stand/Kneel) – 11:00am – 12:40pm
- 7 heats AS-1 (Stand/Kneel) – 12:40pm – 3:00pm
The remainder of the competition window is as follows:
Friday, December 9 – Sunday, December 11:
- World Championship Competition: 8am-4:30pm at La Jolla Shores
All times in Pacific Standard Time.
Catch all the action on the live webcast December 9-11 on www.isaworlds.com.