Since launching in Feb 2015, it’s been a whirlwind of activity here at the Access Adventures base!
We’ve run 5 successful camps, introducing many people to new adaptive sports and hopefully helping them realise what’s achievable in life. We’ve had the pleasure of meeting some incredible characters and seen some impressive progression in the activities, largely due to sheer grit and determination. It’s great to witness that participation in these types of activity often improves confidence and independence.
There is always such a great vibe on the camps; the benefit of the social side cannot be underestimated. People seem to love chatting and chilling, making new friends and becoming part of the Access Adventures family. Just sitting around the fire-pit sharing stories is hard to beat. It’s great to be with people who can identify with your situation and understand some of the challenges you’ve already had to overcome.
Behind the scenes there’s been so much going on as well. The Charities Commission officially registered us in August; this means the fundraising can begin, so we can improve our services for next year. We have a LOT of plans, the hardest thing now is prioritising, finding out what there is a demand for and trying to meet that demand.
We’re always keen to explore the latest developments in adaptive extreme sport. One activity that’s still hard to access is kitesurfing. There aren’t many kite schools that cater for people with disabilities and there isn’t readily available equipment yet, it still has a DIY approach. We were lucky enough to be invited along to a Keros For All Kite camp in Lemnos, Greece. It’s an incredible set-up - the owner has adapted 5 of the luxury safari tents and trained instructors so they can tailor lessons for us. It was exciting to work with them at this development stage – we figured out the best progression route for teaching and looked at how to improve the sit-kite for a better ride. So, of course we have to run a camp there! The first one will be in June 2016 and we’re excited to develop the partnership with Keros Surf Club.
Our other international camp next year is the Scuba diving camp in April. This is an activity that people don’t always think is possible with a disability. It’s actually pretty straightforward and provides a great sense of freedom - the sensation of being weightless under water is so much fun. We’re building up a partnership with Camel Dive Club in Sharm El Sheikh as they have years of experience and are happy to adapt sessions to meet participants’ individual requirements.
Regarding the rest of the camp schedule; there will be a couple of other new UK ones, alongside our incredibly popular waterski/ wakeboard camps. We’re looking at new opportunities and expanding all the time. The adventure starts here!