In July 1999, Rhona organised for me to have a go at water skiing. Because of my disability, she thought that it would be a good idea to get in touch with the British Disabled Water Ski Association. This group organises water skiing weekends around the country for disabled people. Some of the skiers, who had come along, were obviously very experienced and others were like me, complete novices. The B.D.W.S.A. cater for all sorts of disabilities and arrived with a van full of specialist equipment that reflected this.
On arrival I discovered that I was the only visually impared person there. The other skiers had many different disabilities, including several wheelchair users.
All of the instructors are fully qualified and have spent a lot of time working with disabled people.
To help the novices, the instructors use a long water ski handle. This is long enough for three people to hold on to. One instructor stands on either side of the trainee. This means that the instructors can offer both physical and verbal support on both sides of the trainee, where and when required.
Once the trainee is more confident, the handle can be split into three, and the two instructors can peel off to the side, leaving the trainee to ski in the middle unaided. I managed to do a little bit of skiing on my own after a couple of hours of training. It was a great day!
Rhona had come along for the day and was able to sit in the speed boat and take these water ski pictures.
If you are disabled and want to have a go at water skiing, have a look at the B.D.W.S.A. website.