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<i/>They Will Surf Again</i> Brings Participants from Afar

By Sara Wood


Wilmington, NC – Tune in Friday during Morning Edition and All Things Considered to hear Sara Wood's feature on They Will Surf Again at Wrightsville Beach.

Each year the Life Rolls On Foundation sponsors a national surfing event called They Will Surf Again where people who use wheelchairs learn to surf with the support of local volunteers.

WHQR's Sara Wood spent time at Wrightsville Beach on Saturday, where more than 100 participants and volunteers arrived at Beach Access 4.

While participants travelled from all over the region, most of the volunteers were comprised of the local surfing community.

The event helps people who use wheelchairs for a variety of reasons, from spinal cord injuries to neurological disorders, get into the water and onto the waves.

Mike Padgett travelled all the way from Charleston for his first surfing experience amidst chilly fall weather.

"When I wasn't actually riding a wave, I had to just try to keep my arms under the water because that was the warmest part. It's kind of like flying, I guess. I'm definitely coming back next year."

Kevin Murphy has organized the event for the past three years.

"We have a lot of participants who continue to surf after this event. We have some who are able to surf completely on their own now, which, that's our goal, to guide them through it, have a fun time, and really feel the rush of it."

For each surfer, at least 10 volunteers serve as support from getting a participant into the water to launching them into the perfect wave.

The event was originally scheduled for the weekend Hurricane Irene hit North Carolina.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? If so, we'd like to hear from you. Please email the WHQR News Team.