MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — This weekend is the final Wheel to Surf event of its 10th season and the program is one of several adaptive activities offered by Coastal Adaptive Sports.
News13 spoke with surfers and the director of the program who said it’s been the biggest season yet.
Brock Johnson, the Director of Coastal Adaptive Sports, said the event will have about five dozen participants and about 100 volunteers.
Johnson said being out on the water has always been one of his favorite things and he thought he lost that when he got injured, but through Wheel to Surf, not only has he been able to find it again, but he’s also helped others do the same.
Carol Kozlowski, an ASP volunteer, and mother of Katelynn Kozlowski, a surfer with ASP said the event is inspiring.
“It’s awe inspiring actually that she can,” Kozlowski said. “She has this ability to do this as opposed to a disability which is what a lot of people see.”
In 2019, Katelynn’s physical therapist asked her if she’d like to try surfing.
“I knew she’d say yes because she pretty much has no fear, this one, she’s up for anything this one,” Carol said.
When Jose Solorio was paralyzed around eight years old, he thought he would never play sports again. Solorio is an adaptive sports athlete.
“I mean I’m not going to be able to play soccer,” Solorio said. “The sport that I love. So, when I heard about people doing activities, I’m like ‘ok I want to try.”
Solorio said he has never played basketball or surfed, but now through Coastal Adaptive Sports, he does both and he has been a part of the group from the start.
“It started from a group of guys helping a friend,” Solorio said. “And it turned into a bunch of strangers helping a bunch of strangers…so that is wonderful.”
Each participant told News13 that the people involved is what makes it possible for them to do what some might think is impossible for someone who has a disability.
Carol Kozlowski said it was a privilege to see other humans helping other humans do something that they would normally not have the chance to do.
“It helps the volunteers also because we get to see the joy on their face too and it’s just what the world needs,” Kozlowski said.
The director, Brock Johnson said the events just keep getting better.
“It’s like surfing it gets addictive because every wave is fun and you just wanna go catch another one,” he said.
The event will take place Saturday at 9 a.m. at Cherry Grove Pier and for Solorio and Coastal Adaptive Sports, the end of surf season just means the beginning of basketball season as the Coastal Chairmen play their first game of the season Saturday in North Myrtle Beach as well.