High Performance Surfing Centre welcomes partners from the European INCLUSEA Project
From 27th to 29th of April, Viana do Castelo, in Portugal, hosted the second transnational meeting of INCLUSEA, the European project, whose main objective is to “create and develop an innovative methodology for teaching adapted surfing”.
This meeting in the Viana do Castelo High-Performance Surfing Centre marked the start of a structured approach to the teaching of adapted surfing in Europe. This will promote better equality of opportunity in the sport and facilitate greater inclusion of people with disabilities; enhancing health and well-being and allowing for participation for competitive, recreational, and/or therapeutic purposes.
Project Leader, Javier Cantera, explained that “We were able to share knowledge and experiences of adapted surfing with European partners from five different countries. For the first time, we put into practice the theory underpinning this innovative methodology aimed at training people with physical and sensorial disabilities and through surfing, help them to connect with the marine environment and the benefits that waves provide”
Praia do Cabedelo and CAR Surf Viana were considered by all to be the perfect bases to test and improve the methodologies and good practices identified by the project.
“We met and talked with CAR Surf students of all levels, from beginners with mental disabilities to competitors like Marta Paco, the current, visually impaired, Para Surfing World Champion. We surfed blindfolded and experienced the challenges faced by adapted surfers and their instructors, readapting our senses and discovering new skills and sensations.”
According to Javier Cantera, these transnational meetings help to enrich the project, confirm new achievements, and set new goals.
“Viana has set the bar very high. Can’t wait for the next meeting in Germany and an international event that next year will be held in Somo, Cantabria, Spain.”
A short background note on the current status of the INCLUSEA project:
INCLUSEA, co-financed by Erasmus+ Sport, is in the second phase of development, seeking to standardize the training of adapted surfing, based on scientific evidence and practical experience gathered in the first phase, so that, in the future, it can benefit individuals with disabilities and also clubs, schools, and surf coaches who wish to deepen their knowledge in this sports area with a strong social inclusion component.
The first phase of the project focused on a study on the state of the art regarding the knowledge and methodologies applied in teaching/training adapted surfing worldwide.
In this sense, two aspects were worked on, one theoretical/academic, through a review of the international practices and scientific literature, the other more practical, supported by two questionnaires intended for institutions and specialists who regularly work in the area of adapted surfing.
We are currently building a toolkit of best practices. And during these days, we could celebrate some specific workshops focused on visual impairments and surf-based transfers.
INCLUSEA is led by the Sociedad Regional de Educación Cultura y Deporte of the Government of Cantabria (Spain), in partnership with the Municipality of Ribamontán al Mar (Spain), Surf Clube de Viana (Portugal), the University of Trás-os- Montes and Alto Douro (Portugal), the Association Nationale Handi Surf (France), the Liquid Therapy Foundation (Ireland) and the Deutscher Wellenreitverband EV (Germany).
Photo Credits: Darragh Gorman @lighthouse.industries, Joao Zamith, and Sofia @SurfClubedeViana