Displaying items by tag: Belfast Lough Sailability
Held at the Sailability National Conference and Awards dinner at Wyboston Lakes on Saturday (16 February) — with more than 160 delegates representing 57 sailability sites across the UK in attendance — the awards recognised individuals and organisations whose contribution and achievements have made a real impact.
The Exceptional Contribution Awards are presented each year individuals who, over a considerable period have shown exceptional commitment and dedication to boating and getting people on the water.
Belfast Lough’s Anne Taylor said: “My son had a very serious illness and we were very lucky that he made a full recovery. He may not have and if he hadn’t, he would have needed something like sailability to keep his spirits going.
“I’m absolutely delighted to have won this award, I think it’s excellent for our group, Belfast Lough, and for raising the profile of sailability in general.”
A new award this year was the #MoreThanSailing Award, recognising a new and innovative project, activity or piece of work that has enabled inactive disabled people to become more active. The first ever recipient was Jon Gamon and the SEAS Sailability group at the Conway Centres in Anglesey, North Wales.
Jon Gamon commented: “It’s great to take this award back to North Wales, setting up the SEAS Sailability group has been a real community effort, there’s been lots and lots of people involved and to be able to take this back to the Conway Centres and show everyone, they’ll all be really proud. It means such a lot, it’s amazing.”
RYA sailability manager Joff McGill added: “Congratulations to all of this year’s award winners. The Sailability Annual Awards recognise the dedication, commitment and contribution of so many, but of course it’s way more than that, there are so many other people who have given so much and we’re just recognising a few of them.”
#sailability – Weather presenter Cecilia Daly performed a weather-themed boat naming ceremony at Carrickfergus at the weekend for a new member of the Belfast Lough Sailability flotilla which was funded by The Lloyds Bank Foundation for Northern Ireland, and Sainsburys. The yellow-decked, orange-sailed Hansa 303 was appropriately named Sunny.
Belfast Lough Sailability is the Carrickfergus-based charity that trains, educates and encourages people with disabilities, on the water, in sailing boats, motor boats and kayaks
Next summer, with assistance from Carrickfergus Marina and Carrickfergus Sailing Club, "BLS" will host the Hansa 303 Irish Championship for sailors with disabilities – August 1 & 2.
As the Carrick Times reports, Geraldine Duggan will receive a British Empire Medal for her work with the Northern Ireland sailing charity, which relies on the generosity of the public to provide its services - which include getting more than 40,000 people with disabilities out on the water in 2013 alone.
Three years ago that generosity resulted in a £50,000 windfall from the Big Lottery Fund's People's Millions award, which funded the purchase of a Sea Rover boat that allows direct access for wheelchair users.
The Carrick Times has more on the story HERE.
Belfast Lough locals Sheela Lewis from Whitehead received Karl Blythe from Carrickfergus were among 56 people commended by Britain's Princess Royal at the RYA Volunteer Awards in London recently.
Lewis, the first female commodore of the County Antrim Yacht Club, was presented with the Lifetime Commitment Award for her hard work in developing the small club's sailing courses.
And Blythe was nominated by Belfast Lough Sailability for the Youth Award for his dedication to helping others get into sailing and promoting the club online, even while facing the challenges of his autism spectrum disorder.
“I really enjoy helping out with Belfast Lough Sailability and don’t think I do anything more special than any other volunteer," said the 19-year-old. "I really enjoy getting involved, not only with the sailing and on-the-water activities but also helping behind the scenes."
According to a spokesperson, the move "definitely puts Carrickfergus Marina and the Borough of Carrickfergus on an international platform with regard to elite sailing" - and comes after a call to the public to vote for the disabled sailing charity in the UK's National Lottery Awards.
The combination of state-of-the-art facilities at Carrickfergus Marina and the expertise of staff at Belfast Lough Sailability ensured that the Irish athletes had an exciting and challenging training camp ahead of the Paralympic Games, which take place after the London Olympics later this summer.
Belfast Lough Sailability said their hosting of the team "acknowledges that Carrickfergus is capable of offering access for training at the highest level of sailing competition for the disabled".
The paralympians were also wished great success in their campaign by Miss Northern Ireland Tiffany Brien, who happens to be an Olympic Class sailor and ambassador for Belfast Lough Sailability.
Jim Boyd, chair of Belfast Lough Sailability, said: “I believe that this is only the start, and potentially teams from further afield will be using our combined expertise to train in the best sailing waters in the UK, at a five-anchor marina already strongly committed to supporting disabled sailing.
"In partnership with Carrickfergus Borough Council, Belfast Lough Sailability are now recognised as leaders in sailing for people with disability and together we can go from strength to strength.”
Voting opened yesterday in the annual scheme, and the group - one of only 10 projects to make it through in the Best Sports Project category - is calling on the public for its support.
The news comes a year after the charity received £50,000 from the Big Lottery Fund's People's Millions award which enabled the funding of the Sea Rover, a specially adapted vessel with a drop-down bow that enables access for wheelchair users.
More recently, as reported on Afloat.ie, the group added the Hawk 20 keel boat to its fleet which can take up to six for experience on the water.
Geraldine Duggan, chair of Belfast Lough Sailability said: "We're delighted to have reached the semi-finals of The National Lottery Awards and it's a superb acknowledgement for our staff and volunteers.
“With National Lottery funding, Belfast Lough Sailability was able to branch out, diversify and offer so much more to the community. We are a small organisation but we make a huge difference to the lives of those living with disability."
The Carrick Advertiser has more on the story HERE.
The Carrick Times reports that the disabled sailing charity's latest vessel can take up to six for experience on the water.
“The Hawk has a roomy comfortable cockpit and is a stable sailboat well suited for the task of taking people with disability out on the water," said Christine Harper, the charity's hon secretary.
The keel boat is set to join the other specially adapted vessels in the fleet for Belfast Lough Sailability's regular Wednesday evening sessions from Carrickfergus Sailing Club.
Those boats include the unique Sea Rover, a drop-down bow vessel which was funded with £50,000 from the Big Lottery Fund's People's Millions award, as voted for by the general public in 2010.
The weekly sailings are open to everyone with a disability, their carers or family members.
Belfast Lough Sailability recently introduced the latest addition to its fleet - thanks to the generosity of the Northern Irish public.
The Sea Rover was funded with £50,000 from the Big Lottery Fund's People's Millions award, as voted for by the general public last year.
The unique vessel features a drop-down bow to enable direct access for wheelchair users, as well as an integral crew hoist to assist boarding.
The charity said: "Belfast Lough Sailability continues to push the boundaries to offer people with a disability, their families and carers the opportunity to get out on the water and enjoy a range of activities, which would not normally be available to them."
NI sailing charity Belfast Lough Sailability has been shortlisted for the finals of The People’s Millions award.
The People’s Millions is a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund and ITV through which the public decides which local community projects will get up to £50,000 of UK National Lottery funding.
Voting begins at 9am on Wednesday 24 November when anyone in Northern Ireland and across the UK can vote for a wide range of worthy causes.
Winning the People's Millions award would allow the Carrickfergus-based disabled sailing charity to purchase a wheelchair accessible Sea Rover safety boat.
This would enable Belfast Lough Sailability to provide full on-the-water support from the sailors’ carers and families, as well as a stable wheelchair-friendly platform from which to coach.