“BLUESURFEST” IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THE FIRST EUROPEAN NETWORK OF ADAPTIVE SURFING FESTIVALS
BLUESURFEST is spin-off project of the INCLUSEA, and cofinanced by the Erasmus+Sport program of the European Commission, to create a network of non-profit, inclusive surfing events in the form of local Blue Surf Festivals across six European countries: Spain, Portugal, France, Ireland, Italy, and Germany.
These festivals will seek to break down barriers to inclusion in sport and society and promote the practice of surfing to people with different needs and capacities, improving their physical and mental health.
Blue Surf Festivals will involve regional and national surf communities for people with physical and/or sensory disabilities and will also promote volunteering and sustainability in sports. The partners include the following public management organisations, national federations, sports clubs and non-profit organisations.
Led by the Government of Cantabria through their Regional Society of Education, Culture and Sport (SRECD), Spain. And in partnership with:
Surf Clube de Viana (SCV), Portugal
Association Nationnale Handi Surf (HS), France
Liquid Therapy (LT), Ireland
Deutscher Wellenreit Verband (DWV – German Surf Federation), Germany
Federazione Italiana Sci Nautico e Wakeboard (FISW), Italy
All Blue Surf Festivals will include a wide range of different surf related activities aimed at community building, such as inclusive surf competitions and demonstrations, together with a mix of related community seminars and events, targeted to raise awareness at local and regional levels about the social and environmental potential of surfing.
The project aims to reach 40,000 individuals throughout Europe and will involve up to 900 athletes supported by up to 6,000 assistants including volunteers, stakeholders and local decision makers. All EU member state Ministries of Sport will be aware of the project and the importance of education and training methods to make surfing and the ocean more inclusive.
The project aims to leave a legacy beyond the Blue Surf Festival events, with a transnational and replicable approach, with the aim of supporting further development in the field of inclusive and adaptive surfing, including:
- Increasing awareness of the role of sport in promoting social inclusion and equal opportunities
- Improving the accessibility of sports practice in coastal blue spaces for competitive and recreational purposes.
- Providing well-structured guidance to volunteers to successfully engage people who currently face numerous difficulties accessing aquatic sports.
- Magnifying the health and well-being benefits that surfing provides to participants.
- Fostering environmental sustainability, protection, preservation, and enhancement of blue spaces.
- Dynamizing local communities through cultural and sports activities such as seminars, conferences, live music, films, art exhibitions, beach clean-ups, surf contests or exhibitions.
- Promoting collaboration and cooperation between different stakeholders of each blue community which involves different administrations and organizations joining and working together for a more inclusive society through adapted sports.
DATES AND LOCATIONS
*Agendas of each of the events will be published soon on each of the Bluesurfest country webpages.
For press enquiries please contact:
Tel. +34 942 24 30 36
Note from the coordinator:
“Surfing is way beyond a sport; it shapes our relationship to the ocean, to ourselves, and to others. The intrinsic values and tremendous benefits of surfing and connecting with nature make surfing a source of well-being that helps improve the physical and mental health of those who practice it. In many coastal communities around the world, waves have become part of the natural and cultural heritage, as well as a great economic, social, sporting and environmental resource. Today, surfing is a powerful tool to raise awareness for a more sustainable and inclusive society that encourages all people to break barriers through sport. I’m stoked to be working with such a talented team and paddling with them towards a more inclusive line-up through a collaborative and safe approach.”
Javier Cantera, European Projects Manager, Regional Society of Education, Culture and Sport, Cantabria, Spain.