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Watersports Inclusion Games at Kinsale Attracts Overwhelming Interest

16th August 2019
Kinsale's Gina Griffin, the World Disabled Sailing Championships sailor came second overall in the European 2.4 Para section at Gydnya, Poland Regatta in 2017 Kinsale's Gina Griffin, the World Disabled Sailing Championships sailor came second overall in the European 2.4 Para section at Gydnya, Poland Regatta in 2017

Four hundred and fifty participants have registered for the Watersports Inclusion Games according to Dave O’Sullivan, Commodore of Kinsale Yacht Club where a Disability Awareness Training Day this Saturday is a prelude to the hosting of the Games on the following weekend, August 24 and 25.

“Interest is overwhelming. It’s going to be a super event,” he said. “It is a huge undertaking and there are even more people on the waiting list to be participants.”

Two of the club’s own international disabled sailors are Event Ambassadors – John Twomey, 11 times a Paralympian sailor and a board member of Irish Sailing and Gina Griffin, the World Disabled Sailing Championships sailor. She came second overall in the European 2.4 Para section at Gydnya, Poland Regatta in 2017.

“This a free event, celebrating not just sailing but other watersports, rowing, canoeing, water skiing, for people of all abilities from the physical, sensory, intellectual and learning ability spectrums. We have a strong team of volunteers prepared for the event. Our preparations are well advanced and there is a wide welcome to the public to come and support an event that will show what Sailability means. Kinsale Yacht club will be at its best to show that,” says the club’s Commodore.

donal hickeyEvent Director for the Watersports Inclusion Games Donal Hickey

The Event Director is Donal Hickey who has been running Kinsale’s Sailability programme for several years.

The Games are being funded by Sport Ireland Dormant Account Sports Inclusion Fund and organised by Irish Sailing in association KYC, with Canoeing Ireland, Rowing Ireland, Cork Local Sports Partnership, Kinsale Outdoor Education Centre and supported by Spinal Injuries Ireland, Irish Waterskiing and Wakeboarding Federation, Surf 2 Heal, Sailing into Wellness and Sail Training Ireland.

This is the third year of the event, building on its success in Dublin in 2017 and Galway last year. According to Irish Sailing, it will “focus on examining, measuring and promoting the therapeutic benefits of water activity and the impact of watersports on well-being” and will exhibit the latest on adaptations and innovations for optimised watersports delivery.

“It will be a showcase of the best of inclusive watersports facilitation and a promotion of involvement in accessible watersports showing their benefits to health and well-being,” said Donal Hickey.

• Listen to more about the Games and Sailability from Donal Hickey on the Podcast below

Published in Tom MacSweeney, Kinsale
Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney writes a weekly column for He also presents the maritime radio programme This Island Nation on community radio stations around Ireland.

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