Specialised wheelchairs are giving disabled beach goers access to Aldinga Beach

Enjoying the beach: Aldinga Bay Lifesavers Thomas, Claire and Tiffany with Ben, one of the first to try the new chair. Photo: Simon Rothwell.

Enjoying the beach: Aldinga Bay Lifesavers Thomas, Claire and Tiffany with Ben, one of the first to try the new chair. Photo: Simon Rothwell.

A specialised wheelchair that was gifted to the Aldinga Bay Surf Life Saving Club by another local community group is giving disadvantaged people the opportunity to enjoy the sights, sound and feel of Aldinga Beach.

Donated by the McLaren Districts Lions Club, the Sandcruiser Wheelchair was a hit among disadvantaged people visiting Aldinga Beach during the 2019/20 summer season.

The chair which is designed by Push Mobility can be taken on both hard and soft sand and even floats in shallow water, allowing its users to have a complete beach experience.

Aldinga Bay Surf Life Saving Club Vice President and Training Officer, Simon Rothwell said the club had received many inquires about the chair from the community and that those who had used the chair thoroughly enjoyed the experience; club members were also enthusiastic about having the equipment on hand.

"It's great, it adds another dimension to surf life saving. We deal with able bodied people but there is a big push for people that are disadvantaged to have access to the beach," he said.

One notable use so far was by a woman with motor neuron disease who was brought down by her husband and two children. Having been living in a home for several years it had been ten years since her last experience going into the water.

Access to the Sandcruiser Wheelchair meant the woman was able to enjoy the beach in its entirety.

Unfortunately the chair can only be used during hours when the beach is patrolled by surf life savers.

McLaren Districts Lions Club Secretary Lorraine Rosenberg said it was a good fit to look at the two clubs working together.

"Lions are extremely pleased to have the cooperation of Aldinga Bay Surf Life Saving Club and the Australian Lions Foundation to allow us to donate the chair to the Surf Club," she said.

Ms Rosenberg added that it was a great gift as it would be able to make a huge difference in peoples lives.