The origins of the Bluebird Deaf Water Ski Club can be traced back to 1965 when members of the Norwich Deaf Football Team, spearheaded by the current Club President Harry Wooldridge, began water skiing at Wells. The boat they used was handmade, as were the skis which were shaped from planks cut from an ash tree. The bindings were fashioned from an old lorry tyre, whilst Harry’s mother’s washing line and broom provided a ski rope and handle.
In the beginning it was just a small informal group of eager enthusiasts, who skied as part of the Norwich Deaf Sports and Social Club. However, their ranks soon swelled to include both deaf and hearing individuals whose water skiing skills had been honed to such a high level that they began to enter competitions. The Bluebird Deaf Water Ski Club was born. As skiing in the sea could be so unpredictable, a permanent and more reliable venue was sought by the Club Members and in 1967 the current location in Taverham was secured.
In complete contrast, current members and guests of the Bluebird Deaf Water Ski Club now enjoy all the advantages of modern boat technology and equipment. Our current boat is a Ski Nautique 200 with a built-in satellite navigation system to ensure accurate and consistent speeds via GPS. In addition, the boat is fitted with a tower for Wakeboarders and a specific boat setting to offer a larger wake for that vital ‘pop’.
Despite being run solely by volunteers on a not-for-profit basis, the club is proud to be able to offer full competition standard water skiing facilities including a slalom course, jump ramp and trick ski course. The club currently holds two national competitions each year.
We welcome water skiiers and wakeboarders of all ages and abilities and provide all the necessary equipment including skis, wakeboards, wetsuits, buoyancy aids and safety helmets. Coaching is provided to both members and guests by our team of qualified UKCC Level 2 Water Ski and Wakeboard coaches. This coaching is specifically tailored to meet the ability and needs of each individual in their chosen disciplines.
For more information about our sport, visit British Water Ski and Wakeboard.