Ben Clifford, founder of the adaptive surfing initiative, Surfability UK CIC has received international recognition for his impressive work providing inclusive surfing experiences for people with disabilities and learning difficulties on The Gower, Swansea.
We first discovered the project via this UNILAD film and following a brief chat with Ben to understand more, it was inspiring to hear about his latest work.
This month, Ben accompanies two athletes to the World Adaptive Surf Championships on La Jolla Shores Beach in California. Ethan Jolosa (who appears in the film) will compete in the Prone division and Llewellyn Williams in the Kneeling division. Both athletes have progressed to a competitive level after working with Ben, Toby and Surfability UK from their base on Caswell Beach. The contests will stream live from the event website on 12th – 16th December.
In addition, the International Surfing Association has shown interest in purchasing the specialist qualification Ben has written, training instructors to deliver adaptive surf sessions UK wide. Ben is literally setting the standard for adaptive surfing around the globe, hoping to making the sport fully inclusive for all.
Surfing and other water sports are extremely popular for residents and visitors to West Wales and with the increased provision of beach wheelchairs to enable the wider community to enjoy this terrain, it is also encouraging to hear that Surfability UK are currently applying for funding to provide an adaptive changing place at Caswell Beach, which will make this the most accessible beach in the area.
There’s also an inspiring story on ‘how it all began’ on their About page.