Jake Matthews On Representing Australia As A Disabled Surfer

3 Sep 2015 0 Share

(ABOVE - Video by Reddog Jade Wheatley)

In 2015 The International Surfing Association (ISA) will host the first inaugural World Adaptive Surf Games at La Jolla in California 24 – 27 September.

Australia is sending 3 athletes to compete, each have a disability that has impaired them slightly but has only driven their passion and love of surfing to a level of incomprehensible determination and daily stoke. Jade Wheatley, Mark Stewart and Jake Matthews will don their green and gold uniforms and head to the California beachies hoping to stand ontop of the podium representing their country.

Jake Matthews is 23, from Newport Beach in Sydney. He was born with amniotic bands around his lower right leg. As soon as he was born he went straight into surgery and had this part of his foot and ankle amputated. From birth he’s had a prosthetic in place but it wasn’t going to put a dampener on life as a mad grommet.

He first started surfing when he could walk independently, on the Northern Beaches that’s typically when you’re 3. “it’s all I live for, it’s everything to me.” Said Jake about his deep surfing grounding. “I grew up without a dad and the beach has really been like my dad. Every day I was down at the beach, didn’t matter if it was 2 foot onshore or pumping 5 foot I was out in the water.”

“Being able to surf at the first adaptive games for Australia is going to be an awesome experience, everyone grows up wanting to represent their country. It’s an amazing opportunity to represent my country doing something that is such a big part of who I am.”

Jake in pre-event training at his home break Photo by Coastalwatch

Jake in pre-event training at his home break Photo by Coastalwatch

“In the lead up to competition I’m running everyday, surfing and keeping fit. I just got back from a week at the Hurley High Performance Training Centre. Head coach Kingy was breaking down heat strategy and how to structure my surf training.”

“I’m really looking forward to surfing a heat, it will be my first heart ever and it will be good surfing with the same disability with me. It might even up the field a little bit.”

The local community has come together to help Jake get to California to compete. He said in the lead up to the games “I’ve had so many messages and donations and well wishes even from people on the side of the road. I’ve been so lucky that O’neill have given me a new wetsuit and some surf gear and Daniel Bekis from DJB Surfboards has provided me with some great new boards to compete with.”

Although winning isn’t what it’s all about Jake will put in all he’s got to bring home gold. “It’d be pointless to go over there and not want to win but all I really want to do is get out there and represent my country and I’m stoked to have this opportunity.”

You can support Jake through his fundraising page www.mycause.com.au/page/107089/jake-the-peg

Tags: topnews , isa , surfing , adaptive , games , jake , matthews (create Alert from these tags)

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