Ever since Willem Hooft ended up in a wheelchair after a motorcycle accident in 2016, he longed for one thing … being able to return to the water to kite surf. This turned out to be more difficult than he thought. Worldwide, only a few people with spinal cord injuries practiced kitesurfing. The material alone cost many thousands of euros and there were no surf schools that taught sit-kitesurfing.
Through crowdfunding, Willem managed to raise the money to purchase the necessary kite surfing materials. And with the help of other kite surfers he learned to kite surf again.
By now Willem is one of the best sit-kiters in the world and is a team rider for Slingshot and Wind Voyager. He travels all over the world to kite surf and keeps pushing the boundaries of the sport. In addition, he gives motivational talks to inspire others to live up to their full potential. On Willem’s personal website www.willemhooft.com you can find more information about his sports career and his motivational talks.
With the Willem Hooft Foundation, Willem wants to contribute to making sit-kitesurfing more accessible to other people with a physical disability. He personally experienced how many obstacles he had to overcome to experience his greatest passion again. The Willem Hooft Foundation actively contributes to lowering these obstacles, among other things by making available safe and affordable sit-kitesurf equipment, offering teaching methods and information, and helping to organize clinics and kitesurf camps for people with physical disability.