Weʼre raising £2,000 to Help Charlotte represent GB in Hawaii at Dukes Festival Adaptives. Swimming 7268 lengths for miles to Hawaii from Falmouth
- 4 days to go
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My name is Charlotte Banfield and I am a British para-surfer from Cornwall, England. I have Cerebral palsy and Autism and have recently started representing England at Paralympic surfing events. In December 2017 I travelled to California as part of team surfing England to compete at the ISA World Adaptive Surfing championships and brought home a silver medal. It was a fantastic opportunity and I thoroughly enjoyed myself therefore I am looking forward to competing again soon.
This year I have been invited to compete in Hawaii at Dukes Ocean fest. I am proposing to swim the number of lengths for miles to take me to Hawaii. This is some 7268 lengths! This is going to take me two months to complete. I wanted to show you how serious I am about my surfing and being a positive role model for other people. Since I was young, and found out that I was differently abled, I have devoted my life to adaptive sport and pushed myself further than I could have ever imagined.
As a child, I spent a lot of time in hospital undergoing surgery and treatment and felt really embarrassed about taking part in sport. I was referred to a charity called ‘The Wave Project’ which is a holistic surf therapy project helping to improve the confidence of young people going through challenging times through surfing. As soon as I learnt to surf, my whole world changed. I started off as a shy, clumsy little girl who felt disabled in a sea of abled bodied people but after a year of surfing with the Wave project I realised that I wasn’t disabled, I was differently abled and with a positive spirit and the support of my family and friends I could accomplish anything, I just needed to change the way I did somethings. In 2013 I won the ‘UK Pro Surf Awards, surf hero of the year’ and that’s when I decided I wanted to start helping other young people get the same buzz as I did. I started volunteering for the wave project and helping the cycle of adaptive sport continue. Since returning from California,
I have become an ambassador for The Wave Project to further promote competitive para-surfing too. I am hoping to raise the profile of Disability sport in the future and help break down the barrier between able bodied sport and para-sport. I do feel that Para-surfing is not recognised as much as it should in Great Britain, and if para-surfing was advertised more then perhaps more differently abled people can experience the thrill of surfing.
I’m hoping that I can find sponsors to help me travel to this competition, train with adequate equipment and carry on doing what I love the most. That would be amazing! I am very lucky to have a group of followers that support me and encourage me on my journey and am looking forward to promoting Para-surfing further. I would be entirely grateful if you could please help me to achieve my goals and help me compete at these competitions. The smallest contribution towards travel costs, competition costs or equipment would make a massive difference to my journey. If you would like to know more about my journey, or if you have any questions, I would be really happy to get in contact.
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