Friday 6th July 2012 was the day that Long Line Surf School took part in a sponsored surf with 4 members of Guide Dogs for Blind Northern Ireland in order to raise money for their organisation. This was something which I wasn’t very knowledagble to be honest in the beginning and was just willing to help a chairty raise money but once I met the Brian, Julie, Jenny and Torie as well as their amazing guide dogs I got to understand them as a person and not as a person who is aprt of charity. These people all have visual impairments or are completely blind and are all Guide Dogs users.
For them to get a wetsuit on and jump on a surfboard and trust their surf instructor to be in complete control is really a privileged and is something that I would find nervous and intimidating myself but as we tried to put ourselves in their shoes we created a relaxed atmosphere and took a layed back approach towards the entire lesson…. had a laugh and just surfed some waves.
After chatting to Brian as we walked back to the cabin he explained that it costs nearly £50,000 pounds to train and look after a guide dog for its life and that is an incredible amount of money as there were four guide dogs all playing on the beach and when you put that into figures that it £200,000. They are amazing dogs and you could always tell which dog belonged to who as they would wag their tales and patter their feet in excitement when their owner would come close.
This was such a great experience for myself and I hope that everyone that took part really enjoyed it.
We have also organised a pub quiz for tomorrow night in Bertha’s Bar Castlerock to raise a little bit more money with raffle prizes proviuded by a number of local businesses.
I can’t express how rewarding it was to able to provide this expereince and to able to meet these amazing people….. Thank you to all the lifeguard volunteers who made this possible with safety:
Eunan, Stephen, Gareth, Ryan, Daniel, Heidi and Dad.