This was one of the most exciting and empowering experiences I've ever encountered.
I'm totally blind and there are very few opportunities to go at high speed under my own control.
However I didn't just turn up and was able to water ski - the absolutely amazing staff team at the centre went above and beyond to get me ready mentally and technically. Even more important was the repeated number of times two professional staff/helpers would accompany me and other participants in the water to get us going skiing next to me and build us up with confidence boosts. However, the staff would continue doing this again and again, I was tired after my first couple of sessions but they just kept going all day.
I wasn't expecting to progress as much as I felt I did. There were times on the water when I wanted to stop but Clare and Kit who were helping me would always encourage me and make changes mid-ski to ease the pressure and then bring me back to speed. I took immense pleasure in sharing videos of my ski run with friends and family and they were also over joyed as they know I value my independence.
The whole team were so caring but in an enpowering and encouraging way. Nothing was too much trouble and they just kept going the extra mile! I was so surprised by the number of participants who were returners and same with volunteers. The sponsors were also very supportive helping and socialising with all, they are a vital part of the centre. Other volunteers and staff kept us fed and watered and the whole atmosphere and ethos of the setting was positive and casual, it was a beautiful experience which I can't wait to repeat.
Even the accommodation was functional and very good which made it easier for accompanying partners and friends. Facilities were better then we expected. It is a watersports centre so everything is substantial and good quality. The clubhouse is very welcoming and a lovely place to strike up new friendships! Everything is very well thought out and, if there is anything extra needed then everyone is very receptive and helpful. Given the wide range of needs, it's so well designed.
After my dynamic weekend, I felt a sense of pride which I hadn't before. I had been able to do something even "able bodied" friends would have found challenging. It really made me feel good and gave me more self belief and allowed me think bigger!
I'm totally blind and I was quite nervous a day or two before going but I needn't have been. The team are just magic and can almost do anything! Please give it a go as you won't believe the boost it'll give your self confidence and sense of achievement.
I think everything met my highest expectations and went beyond. Words can't explain how good the team are and they make the adventure. Of course the equipment, amazing setting and facilities all come together to bring the experience to life.
The whole weekend left me feeling very "Able" and that is an amazing achievement for the team there!