CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Saturday, ‘They Will Surf Again’ is returning to Port Aransas.
The event is hosted by the non-profit Life Rolls On and gives people with disabilities the opportunity to surf on a special surfboard.
“Maybe they’ve never been to the beach before, let alone in the water, and you see their faces light up the first time that wave catches them and starts to pull them towards the beach,” said Mark Toler, a local sponsor for the event.
The event is open to people of all ages with disabilities, and their families.
Alma Garcia was born and raised in Corpus Christi and has been in a wheelchair for nearly seven years.
She sustained a spinal injury after she was shot in a home invasion in 2015. Prior to her injury, Garcia loved going to the beach.
“It was a big learning experience, I had to relearn all those things, especially the things I loved doing, going to the beach with my kids, fishing, kayaking, or just dipping my toes in the sand. We had to make adjustments as a family,” she said.
Garcia has been hoping to participate in They Will Surf Again for years, but issues have arisen each year, causing her to be unable to participate. She is very excited to participate this year and said the event is important for people with disabilities.
“It gives them a chance to experience life beyond the wheelchair. You actually can meet other persons with disabilities, hear their stories, relate to them, and feel that you’re not alone anymore,” she said. “You get to experience some of the same things they experience.”
Toler said the event is a great time for everyone involved.
“Everybody on the beach, from all the volunteers, the sponsors, everybody working together as a team, everywhere you look there’s a smile,” he said.
They Will Surf Again will be held at Horace Caldwell Pier in Port Aransas, located at 230 On The Beach Rd.
Check-in for the event starts at 8 a.m., and the event is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Adaptive surfboards and beach transfer wheelchairs will be provided at the event. Participants and volunteers provide their own gear; wet suits, life jackets, fins.
Lunch will be provided.
Registration is still open, and interested participants will also be able to register at the event Saturday morning.