Sport Club for Integration (S.C.I.) "Vitosha"

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Date: 23 Sep 2010

A member from SCI “Vitosha” was in a European surfweek in Belgium from 22 to 28 of August.

Source: S.C.I. Vitosha

This is going to be the first time when I allow myself cribbing from the title of another article published on the webpage of SCI “Vitosha” a few months ago.

Although my frequentative trips to Belgium and claiming to know very well the activities of various organizations working in the field of sports and integration of visually impaired and other disabled, I was extremely astonished to receive an invitation to participate and represent the Bulgarian SCI “Vitosha” to the surf camp for people with different types of disability, organized for twentieth consecutive year. The host of the traditional for the last week of August “European surfweek” is Bloso sports centre Hazewinkel, near Wilebrook. The European surfweek is organized by the flemish association Recreas. Totally, there were fifty participants (visually impaired, hearing retarded, mentally and motorically disabled) and seventy more assistants, instructors, personnel, volunteers and organizers. The participants covered all travel costs and participation fees themselves. The noble initiative was successfully realized due to the Flemish government and other solid sponsors, surf equipment and remedy producers. Last but not least I would like not to forget the significant role many volunteers played for the success of an event like this. They did helped gratuicusly to the participants in the water as well on the shores and contributed for the pleasant experience of that week full of sport emotions.

The camp started on August, 22nd when all the participants gathered in the sport centre. In parenthesis Bloso sports centre Hazewinkel is a base for water sports, belonging to The Belgian Olympic Committee, similar to our Belmeken where all conditions to think only about sports are provided. The base is situated round an artificial lake where besides surf, training of canoe, kayak and rowing are held as well. The first activities started the next day, practicing on the simulator and in the afternoon We lowered the boards on the water, hoisted the sails and got ready to subdue the two elements – wind and water, but... Of course due to lack of experience, for want of skill to remain stable on board, to hoist the sail and last but not least – the strong wind, it happened to be off board so many times and tasted the water. The daily regime included trainings two times a day. The afternoon one was usually interrupted for a short nutritious snack which We had on the shors in the beginning, but afterward, for saving time going out and back into the water, We had it in the middle of the lake, round the motorboat. We also had theory classes for explanations how wind surfing happens, different directions of the wind and manoeuvres to be taken in certain cases, and the priority rules in wind surfing and sailing. During the spare time many social and team-building activities were organized and proposed to the participants: karaoke evening, parties, visits to Wilebrook, where We met the mayer and to Mechelen where We went to an open air music fest to enjoy the performances of local pop and rock bands. Moving onward step by step, on the third day I got a new bigger sail (from 3,5 m2 to 5 m2) which normally happens to participants who have experienced surfing for at least three years. This fast headway however didn’t help me at all, it even went so far as to play a practical joke on me during the competition on Friday We had to demonstrate what We have achieved and We have got prepared for a whole week. I don’t want to justify myself, but I would like to announce I am very proud of the first medals I brought to the club collection winning the honorary fourth place. At the end the amiable hosts organized a closing ceremony to reward the participants and to give them certificates.

“European surfweek” is an unique experience I warmly recommend to the other members of SCI “Vitosha” and I would attend once again the next August if only I am free at that time. Actually, why not to organize if not a whole week, cause it’s very hard, at least a surf day in Bulgaria?

Boyan Michev


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