Sean Catlin thought he would have to give up his lifelong love of surfing following a car accident in 2013.
His injuries left him a T10/11 paraplegic.
As he says, it was a double blow: “I lost my identity and my lifestyle all in one hit.”
However, with funding from the Community Living and Participation Grants Program, Sean has been able to rediscover his passion for the sport with a custom-made adaptive surfboard which allows him to surf in a prone position.
The CLPG program, managed by National Disability Services and funded by Lotterywest, provides up to $10,000 for customised solutions that support people with disability to participate in family and community life.
People with disability can apply for equipment, resources, activities and projects connected to their particular social and recreational goals.
Sean discovered the CLPG program last year (2016) when he applied for funding for a beach access wheelchair. Living two streets back from the beach in Yanchep, being able to access the water with his two young children was vital to his family’s lifestyle.
The next step was to find a way to get back out on the waves. After discovering adaptive surfing through Instagram, Sean found a local surfboard manufacturer, Ocean Lines, which could custom-make a surfboard specifically to meet his needs.
“The CLPG program has given me back a part of my life that I thought had ended and that feels amazing,” he says.