Several of the island’s special children, who are physically challenged, enjoyed a day of fun and frolicking at Pebbles Beach where they were hosted by approximately water-loving partners last Saturday.
Coordinated by Courtesy Garage and Variety The Children’s Charity, the event was supported by around 25 volunteers that included some of the island’s popular surfers and national representatives.
The challenged children – accompanied by parents , relatives and friends on a sunny day, all had a blast in the calm waters just outside of The City as they splashed and enjoyed surfboard and kayak rides as well as a range of snacks and drinks.
Among those volunteering services on the day
was internationally acclaimed waterman Philip Als,
who assisted in providing some thrilling kayak rides to eager children.
Back in 2003, Als along with partner Randall Valdez, wrote a chapter in the history of Atlantic crossings for Barbados and the Caribbean when they rowed across the vast ocean in 44 days. Dubbed Team Rowing Home, they completed the 3000 nautical miles while braving gale force winds, high seas, sharks and fatigue, sailing from the Canary Islands to Port St Charles, St Peter. They also won the the National Sports Council’s Sports Personality Of The Year award for their feat.
Last weekend’s surfing fun-day was the fourth annual one of its kind and Executive Director of Variety The Children’s Charity, Donnah Russell, thanked all volunteers and corporate sponsors for creating a fantastic day for several of the island’s special children.
“It was really a great experience for our children. The smiles that were brought to their faces tell the full story,” Russell said. She added that with more volunteers and more support the Charity would be able to host greater numbers of children for such experiences.
Senior General Manager of Courtesy Garage, Nicholas Mackie, whose company leads the coordination of the event along with members of the Barbados Surfing Association, said it was one of the ways in which Courtesy gives back to the community while also encouraging several of the island’s top surfers to see the importance of service and giving back to the community .
“It is a good feeling when we as volunteers are able to do something to put smiles on the faces of our special children and their families in an environment that is safe and wholesome. It was a great day and a great experience,” said Mackie.
Along with a host of volunteers, support for the event was also provided by the National Conservation Commission, Cheffette and Hanschell Inniss.