Westpac grant gives Disabled Surfers Association South West fresh threads for summer

The Disabled Surfers Association South West volunteers and participants will be decked out in brand new rash shirts after the organisation received a community grant from Westpac. 

The association used the $10,000 grant to purchase more than 170 rashies and used remaining funds to produce lifting mats for all 18 of Disabled Surfers Association branches across Australia and New Zealand.

The mats are specially designed to assist in helping lift participants from their wheelchairs to the surfboard.

South West branch president Ant Pursell said the grant was a massive help.

“A lot of our rashies were second-hand and we’ve got 10 years use out of them,” he said.

“They were on the way out, like four people could fit in one rashie, so this has saved us from hosting a major fundraiser and getting the mats made is just a bonus.”

Westpac Busselton bank manager Kirsten Naude said it was an easy decision for the branch to support the Disabled Surfers Association application for the grant.

“We got together and thought who in our community can we support.” she said.

“We reached out to see what would be done with the community grant and when Disabled Surfers Association South West explained how they wanted to support their community, but also how they would use the grant to touch the whole country, it was something we automatically wanted to get behind.”

The first South West event will be held on December 8. For more information on how to be involved, visit disabledsurfers.org/wa/south-west-branch.