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DREAM Adaptive makes it possible for people with disabilities to participate in watersports

Watersports week Screenshot 2023-07-11 at 4.47.04 PM.png
Posted at 9:35 AM, Jul 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-12 12:11:57-04

BIGFORK - Watersports are a big part of Montana summers and DREAM Adaptive is making it possible for everyone to participate at the Echo Lake Watersports Week.

This is DREAM’s 15th Annual Watersports Week where people with physical, cognitive and sensory disabilities can try all things watersports.

“It's really opened up kind of a new lease on life. What this does is it gets me outdoors doing the things that I used to love to do, and that I had to give up much earlier than I wanted to. So it's pretty glorious,” said DREAM Adaptive athlete Peg Alford.

With drivers and boats supplied by Launch Watersports at no cost, it made this year a lot easier for DREAM to organize. The athletes got to try wakeboarding, water skiing, tubing, kayaking and paddleboarding.

“My accident was just a year ago so it was my first time getting back out on the water. It feels amazing to be able to get back out there and on it. I’m really stoked. Hopefully, get back out there and hopefully, the sun comes back out too,” said DREAM Adaptive athlete Erik Barnes.

The gear used is specially designed for people with disabilities using outriggers for added stability and chair attachments on the paddleboards and wakeboards among other cool adaptations.

“The thing that amazes me is that people can think of these ideas to make such equipment that is so radically different from what able-bodied people would use. And I see some people here with spinal cord injuries and different disabilities. And someone has thought to create these amazing, amazing ways through equipment to do these things. So I'm kind of in awe of it all,” said Alford.

An amazing team of volunteers helps ensure that the athletes are safe and successful at the sport.

“To not be able to have the people or the equipment really sucks and so DREAM has everything that we need to get back out there,” said Barnes.

The event continues through July 14, 2023, with the last day reserved for military veterans and their families. You can go to for more information on the event.

“This is a place to be to be outdoors in nature, to kind of get back doing the things that maybe you had to give up. Or maybe just first time trying things that you'd like to. It's pretty fabulous,” Alford concluded.

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