People with disabilities get to enjoy water sports

October 09, 2007
Despite overcast skies, about 30 people with physical disabilities enjoyed a day of water sports on Friday, September 21, at the 10th Annual Adaptive Water Sports Day held at Carolina Beach State Park Marina. Staff from New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Coastal Rehabilitation Hospital were among the nearly 40 volunteers who helped participants as they took part in water skiing, jet skiing, kayaking and boat riding.

“It was a perfect day,” said Carl Thompson with N. C. Vocational Rehabilitation, the coordinator of the event. People with amputation, paraplegia and spinal cord injuries participated.

Dave Beauregard, a paraplegic, tried kayaking this year after having skied during his previous three years of participation. “My balance was a little iffy because I have very poor trunk muscles because of my spinal cord injury,” he said. “But I enjoyed it.”

Beauregard is vice president of the Wilmington Disabled Athletic Association that is a sponsor of this event and whose main focus is to provide opportunities for people with physical disabilities to participate in sports activities such as wheelchair basketball, tennis and golf.

He also enjoyed the site, which was new this year. “It was very nice,” Beauregard said. “It was more spread out, which allowed for better diversity in access to the different activities.

“Overall it’s been a beautiful day,” he said.