CHANGING LIVES: Tim Byrne, Heidi Phillips, Rob Hobson, Don McLachlan, Joyce Perters and Alwyn Green with the new wheelchair.
CHANGING LIVES: Tim Byrne, Heidi Phillips, Rob Hobson, Don McLachlan, Joyce Perters and Alwyn Green with the new wheelchair. Warren Lynam

Changing lives with new $4000 beach wheelchair

SURFING is a passion for many, a hobby for some and a joy to watch for others.

But for those who are unable to make the walk on the sand, this joy is often lost.

Sunshine Coast Lions clubs have banded together to make a small change to this reality, purchasing a $4000 beach wheelchair for the use of the entire community.

The Sunshine Coast Disabled Surfers Association president Tim Byrne said this wheelchair meant many more people would have access to their surfing events.

"It takes us a long time to get the money for this," he said.

The wheelchair will be housed at the Currimundi Special School for their use when not being used by the association.

Mr Byrne said he was thrilled to see accessibility for disabled people on the Coast was a growing movement.

"The council have been brilliant in developing precincts that make things more accessible," he said.

"There's also a cafe at Currimundi Lake that has a chair there for anyone who wants to use it."

Maleny Lions Club president Rob Hobson said the concept originally came from a Maleny man who had a disability.

"He said he'd love to go for a surf but it was difficult for him," he said.

"We put it to everyone to buy one of these wheelchairs but we wanted it to be open for the community to use.

"The actual donations came from all the clubs in the zone.

"The rest of the money was donated from the Australian Lions Foundation."

For more information about the work of the Sunshine Coast Disabled Surfers Association, visit http://disabledsurfers.org /qld/sunshine-coast-branch/.


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