HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - AccesSurf is getting its feet wet with another ocean activity ― canoe paddling.
"If you have a disability or whatever your abilities are we want you to come out and paddle with us," said Ann Yoshida, AccesSurf's training and innovation coordinator.
On Saturday, the nonprofit hosts its first-ever paddling event. It’s starts at 10 a.m. on the Sand Island shoreline close to the BMX Sandbox track.
Yoshida hopes the canoes are filled with disabled individuals who want to get on the ocean.
“Paddling is actually a really good first step because you’re on top of the water. You’re in a safe zone in the hull,” she said.
She expects about 20 participants but welcomes more. The paddling program also kicks off AccesSurf’s new partnership with Hawaii Adaptive Paddling Association, which is now part of the non-profit.
The Honolulu Pearl Canoe Club is also helping out.
“We’re bringing everybody that’s in the community together as ohana,” Yoshida said.
She’s a paralympian paddler and an adaptive surfing world champion.
"I"ll do an assessment to make sure people are supported in the right way with the right equipment, with the right social support, with the right seating positioning," she said.
As an occupational therapist Yoshida believes the ocean has therapeutic properties.
"I get to see the therapy happen without me actually making therapy happen," she said.
AccesSurf is well-known for adaptive surfing and swimming events. Paddling is the new frontier.
"Bringing paddling into the waterman lifestyle is so exciting for AccesSurf," she said.
To find out more about Saturday’s paddling event contact AccesSurf at info@AccesSurf.org.