Sailforce is a new campaign established by the Irish Disabled Sailing Association (IDSA) to highlight the achievements and activities of their current membership and to introduce members of the general public to the concept of sailing as a viable sport for the disabled.
The IDSA was established in the early 1980s to introduce and encourage people of all ages with physical disability to take up sailing. Funded by the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) and with the assistance of the Irish Naval Service and a select number of yacht clubs, the Association developed to provide centres in Kinsale, Crosshaven, Monkstown, and Howth.
Twenty years later, IDSA members are involved in all levels of the sport, from regular club racing, through international championships, to Paralympic campaigns.
The objectives of Sailforce are initially to provide information on the current activities of the IDSA and to make contact with members of the general public interested in getting involved in the sport. With this feedback, the IDSA intend to accommodate newcomers in Introduction Days whenever practicable.
To encourage other yacht and sailing clubs to take example from the Royal Cork Yacht Club, Kinsale Yacht Club, Howth Yacht Club and Monkstown Bay Sailing Club and provide facilities for disabled sailors to participate in the sport, the Sailforce Burgee will be awarded to clubs showing a positive and tangible commitment towards access for persons with a disability. By expanding the facilities countrywide, the IDSA will be able to accommodate larger number of potential sailors.
The main source of communication for Sailforce is this disabled user friendly website: www.sailforce.ie. This website has a contact us facility for would-be sailors to get in touch. In addition, the IDSA will operate a support telephone Information Request service for those without access to the Internet: 021 438 3228.
If you are interested in becoming involved in Sailforce, either to try out sailing or to help us introduce others to your favourite sport, please do get in touch with us. We look forward to welcoming you to the team.
To quote one disabled sailor: 'Sailing is the only sport I've ever tried which actually makes me feel less, rather than more disabled.'
Irish Disabled Sailing Association (IDSA) – Sailforce
Paul Ryan, tel: 087 230 6352, email: [email protected]
Kevin Downing, tel: 087 254 6880, email: [email protected]
Afloat posts on the IDSA:
There is a space for Irish boating clubs and racing classes to use as their own bulletin board and forum for announcements and discussion. If you want to see a dedicated forum slot for your club or class, click here