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Who Says You Can’t Enjoy Sailing? — RYA Supports Charity Campaign To Challenge Perceptions Of Disability In Sport

21st July 2019
Who Says You Can’t Enjoy Sailing? — RYA Supports Charity Campaign To Challenge Perceptions Of Disability In Sport

The RYA is welcoming the launch of a UK-wide disability inclusion campaign and highlighting the benefits of sailing for all participants.

The Activity Alliance’s Who Says? campaign is calling time on negative perceptions about disability, inclusion and sport.

It was created in response to the national charity’s recent research, which explored people’s attitudes on inclusive activity and found that a lack of understanding could be creating long-lasting barriers for people with disabilities.

The findings of the research showed a general lack of awareness, inexperience and unfamiliarity with disabled people although there was a good awareness that sport should be for everyone.

Non-disabled respondents also recognised that they could benefit from taking part in inclusive activities.

However, non-disabled people were concerned about the negative impact taking part together may have on the wellbeing of disabled people.

The top three concerns were that they may patronise disabled people (53%), disabled people may get hurt (47%) or that they may say something inappropriate (37%).

The aim of Who Says? is to empower people to challenge their own and other people’s perceptions through a series of short films.

RYA safeguarding and equality manager Jackie Reid said: “The research shows that certain perceptions around disability in sport should be challenged and it is time for an awareness raising initiative like the Who Says campaign.

“At the RYA we operate on the basis that sailing and boating are open to anyone, no matter what their age or disability and our aim is to facilitate the inclusion of all sailors, whether they want to compete or just have fun on the water.”

The RYA says all of its clubs and training centres should be able to respond appropriately to an enquiry from someone with a disability, and discuss whether they are able to make reasonable adjustments to meet that individual’s needs.

Sailability is the RYA’s national programme in the UK giving people with disabilities the chance to try sailing and to take part regularly.

The British network of more than 200 RYA-approved sailability sites have boats and facilities to cater for people across the whole spectrum of abilities.

RYA sailability manager Joff McGill said: “Challenging perceptions can make a real difference to whether people can get out on the water or not.

“With over 200 locations across the UK, it is easy to get on the water near you and staff and volunteers across the sailability programme are committed to open and positive conversations about what it takes to get each person sailing.

“There are so many benefits – being active, improving wellbeing, new social connections and learning new skills.”

To find out more about sailing opportunities for disabled people, or those that need specific support to get on the water, visit the RYA’s sailability programme web page.

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About the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Northern Ireland 

  • The RYA is the national body for dinghy, yacht and motor cruising, all forms of sail racing, RIBs and sports boats, windsurfing and personal watercraft and a leading representative for inland waterways cruising.
  • The RYA is recognised by Government, the media and opinion formers as the representative body and voice for the activities that it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 112,000 personal members.
  • The RYA has more than 1,500 affiliated clubs and classes, which represent some 350,000 boaters throughout the UK. It is estimated that 4 million people in the UK take part in boating activity annually.
  • The RYA also sets and maintains recognised standards for training for both leisure and commercial boating through a network of more than 2,400 RYA Recognised Training Centres across 58 countries. More than 250,000 people per year complete RYA training courses.
  • The RYA is responsible for one of the UK’s most successful Olympic medal-winning sports. Our coaching and development schemes actively support 800 of our country’s top sailors, from talented juniors to Olympic and World champions.
  • The RYA is committed to promoting all forms of boating and making them accessible to everyone. For more information please visit www.rya.org.uk.
  • The Royal Yachting Association Northern Ireland (RYA NI) acts for the RYA in Northern Ireland (NI) and the Chairman of RYA NI is invited to join the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) Policy Review Committee.
  • You can find the RYA Northern Ireland at Sketrick House, GE8, Jubilee Road, Newtownards, BT23 4YH.
  • RYA NI is a company limited by guarantee – Registration number NI 51945
  • Contact RYA NI: Tel: 02891 827154 email: [email protected]

 

 

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