Mind over matter

People enjoy getting back into the ocean at neuro paddle classes in Perth.

A NEW paddle boarding class is giving hope to people with neurological conditions who thought their ocean-loving days were behind them.

‘Neuro paddle’ is the brainchild of physio Nicole Lagesse and paddle board instructor Nicki Jones, who met by sheer chance when Ms Lagesse signed up to do paddle boarding classes just over a year ago.

“We share the same energy and passion for incorporating fun into fitness,” Ms Jones says.

“Nicole works with various neurological conditions as a physio and wanted to introduce a fun fitness activity, so together with different experiences and backgrounds we created Neuro Paddle.”

Ms Jones says they already have a dozen people on the books.

“We’ve had stroke survivors, participants with spinal cord injury and Parkinson’s Disease,” she says.

“We had a male stroke survivor who before his stroke was an ocean-lover and keen surfer.

“Being back out on the water paddling has not only been extremely positive for his physical health but tremendous for his mental well-being.

“Being outside in nature, connecting with others and doing something unique has been the common theme from feedback.

“We were very impressed at the pupils’ dedication, as we kept it going through winter with a bit of rescheduling around the weather.”

The pace of the lesson is dictated by the individual, with the large and steady paddle boards allowing them to do different levels and positions including prone paddling, seating, kneeling and standing.

“We incorporate a range of options to suit everyone,” Ms Jones says.

“Paddle boarding is low impact and uses large muscle groups to build strength, balance, co-ordination, and cardiovascular fitness in a fun and unique way. For our paddlers, just being around others with similar conditions is therapy in itself.”

Ms Jones says a pupil with a spinal injury got a lot out of the course: “I sustained an incomplete spinal injury eight years ago and used to be very active so was keen to give it a try,” the pupil said.

“The classes were great, and Nicki was able to adapt it to suit each individual’s ability. 

“I thoroughly enjoyed the classes, and it was great to try something new.”

If you fancy trying neuro paddle, Perth Stand Up Paddle School is holding a have-a-go-day at Freshwater Bay in Peppermint Grove today (Saturday September 25) from 9.30am – 11.30am.

For more details about the course contact Ms Lagesse at nicole@embarkphysio.com.au 

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