Oi Oi Oi do our mates from down under mean the world to us!
Robyn and Ray has been a part of our Adaptive Surfing ‘ohana for many years. Robyn surfs in the Hawai’i Adaptive Surfing Championships and even volunteers where she can. Her kind soul expands from the beaches of NSW all the way to Hawai’i and we absolutely adore her. Ray is an incredibly hard working volunteer. You may have seen him frequent the water transfer area but he is always so willing to help anywhere and everywhere. Even when we are running around with our heads chopped off trying to run the contest, Ray seems to be the calm in the midst of the storm. Sorry Ray, can’t cure crazy but thank you for sticking with us! We love you two so much and are so thankful for your dedication to AccesSurf and Adaptive Surfing. Mahalo!
Here is a little Q&A from Robyn:
Tell us a little about yourself
Robyn Harvey from Crescent Head on the North Coast of NSW in Australia. I am 72 years of age …have 2 daughters and 9 grandchildren.
My whole love has been involved and still is with Design Marketing & Advertising.
I started surfing at 5 years of age plus played heaps of other sports and keeping fit.
I was a State Malibu representative in Australia for longboarding and taught & still coach surfing & swimming.
How and when you did you get started with Accessurf?
I started with Accessurf around 2016 when I read about The Dukes Surf Festival which included an Adaptive Division.
About 25 years ago I was diagnosed with severe Osteoarthritis and a specific gene was attacking my cartilage leaving bone on bone throughout my body.
This meant I couldn’t push up with my hands on my board without excruciating pain as the bones started to split.
My whole body joints where becoming a mess so the surgeons started fusing joint parts where the pain was unbelievable so I could still continue with my life style.
I then knew I had to Adapt to anything that meant the world to me and that was surfing.
So my journey began to Waikiki and I met other Surfers who had to adapt to their disability, surf craft and water conditions.
Plus I met other Adaptive Surf Athletes from different States here in Australia.
I then entered into the Adaptive Surf Events in Hawaii and surfed against all ages, genders & mixed divisions where I could still compete as a Competitive Surfer. We do not have this in Australia.
What does AccesSurf mean to you?
Accessurf to me is FAMILY …… The LOVE that emulates from this event is very deep within me.
Accessurf means “You Can Do Anything You Set Your Mind To.”
The Camaraderie with all the Athletes, Family, Volunteers & Support Crew is Priceless.
Favorite AccesSurf or HASC memory?
When some of my friends could make it to Waikiki as Volunteers from Australia & San Francisco to assist with the athletes. It has changed them as well. And in 2019 I won The Gold Medal in the Assisted Mix Division and bring home the Red Jersey which is proudly in a frame in my office.
Anything you want to say to our AccesSurf ‘ohana?
Thank you so much in welcoming me into your lives …you have changed my life forever and I will keep on coming back if not as a competitor but as a volunteer…and especially as your friend from Australia.