Two people underwater wearing scuba gear. The person in the centre focus is carrying kettle bells.

All-abilities water sports for summer

by Editorial Team

With the weather warming up and summer just a splash away, all you water babies will be dreaming of your first swim of the season. We’ve rounded up three of our favourite all-abilities water sports available in different locations around Australia. Dive in and test them out this summer!

Sailability

This volunteer-based non-profit encourages all abilities to learn the ropes of para-sailing.

Sailability and Discover Sailing operate at multiple locations around the country and the world. In Tasmania, for example, you can take part at Wynyard, Launceston and Hobart. Queensland has a whopping 15 Sailability clubs. Depending on the club, you can expect modified docks, instructors keen to adapt, all-abilities water sports events and a range of modified vessels kitted out with mobility equipment.

Anyone can become a member or tag along to give it a try, whether you’re after recreational therapy or have your sights set on conquering a competition.

A body of water with a sail boat in the center. Two people are seated in the boat, wearing life-jackets.
Organisations like Sailability and Discover Sailing make water sports accessible to people of all abilities.

Adaptive Water Skiing

Never tried water skiing before? Now’s your chance! Most states around Australia have a Water Ski Federation that runs coaching and provides adaptive equipment to first-timers.

The NSW Water Ski Federation Disabled Division holds open ‘Come ‘n’ Try’ days at Manly Dam, Cooks River or Wisemans Ferry. There are modified sit skis, life jackets, ski ropes and all necessary equipment available for use. You can return for training days if you come to love the sport.

For the more serious skiers among us, Disabled Water Ski Australia is super keen to help skiers with vision or mobility impairments progress into competitive water skiing.

Adaptive water skiing is available around Australia, for participants of all abilities and experience levels!
Credit: NSW Water Ski Federation

Scuba Gym

Brought to Australia by scuba instructor and experienced diver Lyndi Leggett, Scuba Gym provides scuba therapy at Woy Woy Peninsula Leisure Centre on the Central Coast. The experience is tailored to each diver, catering to a whole host of conditions such as quadriplegia, MS, cerebral palsy, autism and PTSD.

You’ll meet up with Lyndi and her team of expert divers and first aiders to chat about your goals, complete the necessary forms and checks, get fitted out with the gear and take the plunge. If you’d rather a one-off experience, Lyndi also runs Scuba Camps for adults and children. Participants are paired up with a buddy for one to three days to enjoy all-abilities water sports and arts activities. Based on your preference, you can focus on learning to float, swim, snorkel or scuba.

This story first appeared in Travel Without Limits magazine. You can subscribe here.

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