Vic Park water ski club gives access to the disabled

WA Disabled Water Ski Club secretary Karen Anderson and president Ted Anderson with adaptive equipment at McCallum Park.
WA Disabled Water Ski Club secretary Karen Anderson and president Ted Anderson with adaptive equipment at McCallum Park.

A VICTORIA Park sports club is changing the perceptions of high-risk sport for people living with a disability by making water skiing accessible since 1988.

WA Disabled Water Ski Club offers opportunities for the disabled to water ski recreationally or competitively through adaptive equipment and customised courses.

Being involved in the club for 28 years has been life-changing for Palmyra residents Ted and Karen Anderson, who are now club president and secretary respectively.

Mr Anderson said when he was injured in the army, he feared the worst but regained a sense of achievement being involved with the club.

“People believe that once you’re disabled, that’s it, life ended,” he said.

Mrs Anderson uses a powered wheelchair for everyday mobility and steers her adaptive equipment by shifting her body weight on the water.

“It gives people of disability the feeling of speed that they might not get in other ways,” she said.

“It’s a fantastic thing when you see people coming right out of the water and have big smiles, you want to be a part of that.”

Treasurer Tania McCartney said there were about 40 members in the club and they meet every Sunday in summer at McCallum Park in Victoria Park.

“The whole family is welcome to be members of the club and be involved,” she said.

“The period is the start of November until the end of March but it’s variable, if we’ve got plenty of summer in April, we keep going.”

WA Disabled Water Ski Club was named a finalist for the RAC Insurance Beyond Sport Award John Gilmour Medal.

Winners will be announced at the 2018 RAC WA Sports Star Awards held at Optus Stadium on February 7.