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The third Watersports Inclusion Games will take place in Kinsale this August.

Building on the success of Dublin in 2017 and Galway in 2018, Kinsale Yacht Club will host the biggest showcase yet of inclusive watersports activity on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 August.

The weekend will have the latest on adaptations and innovations for optimised watersports delivery, as well as a focus on examining, measuring and promoting the therapeutic benefits of water activity and the impact of watersports on wellbeing.

The event is organised by Irish Sailing in association with Canoeing Ireland, Rowing Ireland and Cork Local Sports Partnership, supported by Kinsale Yacht Club Sailability, Kinsale Outdoor Education Centre, Sailing Into Wellness and Spinal Injuries Ireland, and funded by the Sport Ireland Dormant Accounts Sports Inclusion Fund.

Watersports Inclusion Games logo

All equipment will be provided, and no experience is required for the free weekend that will include sailing, rowing, canoeing and fast boat rides, with more watersports likely to be added.

Clubs, organisations and community groups working with people with disabilities who are interested in bringing a group or individuals, or in having a presence at the expo element of the event, are invited to register their interest.

Individuals interested in attending the event with up to two family members or friends may also register, as can watersports activity providers who would like to showcase their organisation. Volunteers of all experience levels are also needed for the weekend.

Children aged under 18 and vulnerable adults attending must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times.

For more details visit the Facebook event page. For all registrations of interest, contact Johanne at [email protected] who will outline booking details.

Published in ISA

#Sailability - Anne Taylor of Belfast Lough Sailability was one of three winners of this year’s Exceptional Contribution Awards in the RYA Sailability Annual Awards last weekend.

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.”

Published in News Update

Sail Training Ireland chief executive Daragh Sheridan has hailed the recently announced Government funding for young people with disabilities and from disadvantaged backgrounds to take part in tall ships training voyages as “a hugely positive development for the charity”.

Sheridan added that the funding “will enable [Sail Training Ireland] to offer the life-changing opportunity of sail training voyages to even more young people across the island of Ireland.

“It will also mean that we can expand our inclusion voyages that ensure people of all abilities can participate.

“I believe that the Government decision was positively influenced by the highly respected individuals and organisations who already support us.”

Sheridan also expressed his thanks to Paul Kehoe, Minister of State at Department of Defence, and Finian McGrath, Minister of State for Disability Issues, for their support.|

Published in Tall Ships

Minister of State with responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe, has announced further details of the new funding approved by Cabinet young people with disabilities and from disadvantaged backgrounds to embark on tall ship training voyages.

Joined by Minister of State with responsibility for Disabilities, Finian McGrath, Minister Kehoe announced the provision of a grant of €85,000 in 2019 and again in 2020 which will go towards youth development in Sail Training Ireland’s charitable programme.

The objective of sail training is youth development rather than just teaching people to sail, which the ministers underline as an important distinction.

In 2018, Sail Training Ireland placed 341 young people on sail training vessels, over 90% of whom were from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Sail Training Ireland does not own or operate is own vessels, but charters as required. This is a different model to the state’s previous sail training vessel, the Asgard, which sank off the coast of France in 2008.

Trainees are selected by nominating organisations such as the HSE, Garda Diversion Projects, Tulsa, Irish Wheelchair Association and the Irish Refugee Council. A total of 37 nominating organisations provided trainees for placement in 2018.

Skills such as communication, leadership, confidence and teamwork are all developed when on board a sail training vessel.

Sail Training Ireland also facilitates young people with a disability to avail of the sail training experience. In 2018 over 25% of those placed on voyages were young people with a disability.

In terms of gender balance, of the 341 trainees in 2018, 185 were young men with 156 young women. Trainees have also come from over 25 counties in Ireland which includes five in Northern Ireland.

The new funding for this year and next has the potential to deliver an additional 50 places for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in each of those years.

Speaking at an event onboard the Brian Ború vessel at Poolbeg Yacht Club in Dublin today (Friday 11 January), Minister Kehoe commented: “Many of the young people that will selected for these projects have experienced significant difficulties and hardships in their lives.

“In some instances, the opportunities provided by Sail Training Ireland have allowed young people to turn their lives around.

“I would like to commend the work that Sail Training Ireland has undertaken in recent years and wish them well as we face into a new year.”

Minister McGrath added: “Sail Training Ireland once again have shown their commitment to working with people with a disability and I am delighted to be part of today's event.

"Officials from the Department of Defence are engaging with the chief executive and chairman of Sail Training Ireland to ensure child safeguarding procedures are in place and to finalise appropriate governance and financial requirements, in advance of the grant being paid.

"At the end of two year period, a review of the outputs and outcomes of the expenditure will be undertaken by my department."

Published in Tall Ships

Sail Training Ireland has been shortlisted for the 2018 National Inclusion Awards under the Adventure category.

The not-for-profit initiative, which gives people from various backgrounds opportunities to crew tall ships, welcomed the news as “recognition of the fact that 86 people or 25% of our trainees this year had a disability of some kind. Well done to all for taking on the adventure.”

Sail Training Ireland also thanked its supporters for their continued efforts, which have been “instrumental in making this opportunity available to people from all backgrounds and abilities”.

The winners of this year’s National Inclusion Awards will be announced on Wednesday 28 November.

Published in Tall Ships

#Sailability - Galway hosted the second Watersports Inclusion Games last weekend (25-26 August) for 198 participants with all abilities on the physical, sensory, intellectual and learning difficulty spectrums.

First held in Dun Laoghaire in June 2017, the two-day event aims to show both participants and their families, as well as people who organise watersport events, that everyone can get out onto the water.

This year’s games had two elements. The Commercial Boat Club hosted introductory activities for those new to watersports, with an expanded choice including sailing, rowing, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding and fast-boat rides.

Watersports Games 2018 Canoe Polo

The second element was a competitive sailing event on Galway Bay with more experienced sailors including Kinsale Yacht Club’s Gina Griffin competing in the Hansa Nationals, alongside the President’s Cup which was won by Munster.

Speaking over the weekend, Irish Sailing chief executive Harry Hermon said: “This is the second year of the games, and we were delighted to welcome all of the participants from the four corners of Ireland.

“We are already starting to plan for next year’s games in Cork, when we hope to reach even more people from all abilities and encourage them to take up watersports.”

Published in ISA

This past weekend Galway Bay Sailing Club played host to the Hansa Nationals and Presidents Cup at The Port of Galway. Team of Sailability sailors from all 4 provinces converged on Galway for the weekend and Champagne sailing conditions on Galway Bay on Saturday ensured that enough races where sailed to constitute a championship. Despite the best efforts of the race management teams headed by Dave Vinnell and Aoife Lyons the weather won out on Sunday with no racing being possible.

Twenty-nine boats took to the water with 17 boats on the start line for the Hansa Nationals and 12 boats lining up in the Presidents Cup fleet.

Hansa galway bay2

Local crew Jack Cunningham and Gerry Drudy scored two bullets in the last first two races in their Hansa and this coupled with 2 seconds was enough to see them hold off a strong challenge from Judy Moynihan and Maebh Ahearne. This is a fantastic achievement for Cunningham who only took up sailing last year.

Munster came to Galway as favourites to retain the Presidents Cup and so it proved with a string of bullets from Gina Griffin in her 2.mR and Kevin Downing and his crew in their Squib ensuring that the trophy’s trip outside Munster was short.

"A huge volunteer effort from GBSC and indeed all clubs involved went into the event"

A huge volunteer effort from GBSC and indeed all clubs involved went into the event. Liz Gantly, event chairperson, complemented and congratulated all involved in hosting a hugely successful event, singling out Safety Officer Ciaran Oliver and GBSC founding member Pierce Purcell for special mention. It was also noted that the event and indeed all watersports for disabled people in Galway was given a major boost just prior to the event with the installation of a permanent hoist. This was funded by the dormant accounts fund and kindly facilitated by Harbour Master Capt Brian Sheridan.

One final surprise was in store when Sailability stalwart Donal Hickey was presented with the “Spirit of Sailability” award for his long and continued contribution to Sailability Ireland.”

Irish Sailing Adds:

Galway hosted the second Watersports Inclusion Games this weekend (25th and 26th August) for 198 participants with all abilities on the physical, sensory, intellectual and learning
difficulty spectrums. This two-day event aims to show both participants and their families, as well as people who organise watersport events, that everyone can get out onto the water.

The Games had two elements: at the Commercial Boat Club, we put on introductory activities for those new to watersports. This year there was an expanded choice including
sailing, rowing, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, and fast-boat rides, with many people trying out all of the watersports activities over the course of the weekend.

The second element was a competitive sailing event. This took place in Galway Bay with more experienced sailors including Kinsale YC’s Gina Griffin, World Sailing 2.4 Parasailing silver medallist competing in the Hansa Nationals, and the President’s Cup which was won by Munster.

Harry Hermon, CEO of Irish Sailing commented: This is the second year of the Games, and we were delighted to welcome all of the participants from the four corners of Ireland. We are
already starting to plan for next year’s Games in Cork, when we hope to reach even more people from all abilities and encourage them to take up watersports”.

Neither event would have happened without the 100 or so incredible volunteers who generously donated their time and expertise.

“It was a pleasure and a privilege to witness the fabulous sailing skills, can-do attitude and camaraderie on display on the water yesterday” Volunteer and mother of participant.

“Just reflecting here on the weekend and I can’t help but smile when I think about it and I will for some time to come….Thank you doesn’t do it justice but THANK YOU!” Parent of
participant

The Games were organised by Irish Sailing, in partnership with Canoeing Ireland, Rowing Ireland, Spinal Injuries Ireland, Galway Bay Sailing Club Sailability, Galway Sports
Partnership, Wet Mongrel Adventures and Waterabilities, and funded by the Sport Ireland Dormant Accounts Sports Inclusion Fund.

Huge thanks also to Galway Kayak Club, St Joseph’s Rowing Club, Tribesmen Rowing Club, Corrib Rowing Club, Gráinne Mhaol Rowing club, Castleconnell Rowing Club, Cork Boat
Club, Castletownbere Rowing Club, Coláiste na Coiribe Rowing Club, Galway Bay Sailing Club, NUIG Sailing Club, Galway Sea Scouts, Bray Sailing Club, Galway Civil Defence and
Galway Sub Aqua Club, Bellacragher Boat Club, Lough Derg Yacht Club, Corrib Yacht and Boating Club, Carna Order of Malta, Dun Laoghaire Sailability, Gartan & Donegal CoCo,
Galway City Council and the many other volunteers and helpers.

The Games were hosted by the Commercial Boat Club, Woodquay and Corrib Navigation Trust with competitive sailing hosted at Galway Docks.

Published in Galway Harbour
Tagged under

#SeaFest - This year’s SeaFest in Galway is offering activities specifically for children with sensory issues as well as watersports sessions for children and adults with disabilities or impairments.

Irish Sailing and its team of volunteers from sailing clubs across Galway are offering fully inclusive access to Try Sailing sessions over the three days of Ireland’s national maritime festival.

“We want everyone to be able to experience the thrill of being out on the water, and SeaFest offers a fantastic opportunity for children and adults with disabilities or impairments to try sailing or kayaking in a safe and supported environment,” said Ciarán Murphy, Irish Sailing’s national inclusion and children’s officer.

“Sailing offers a sense of freedom like no other sport, and is a great healthy outdoor and social activity. We hope our budding sailors enjoy the experience and will join us again in Galway for the Watersports Inclusion Games at the end of August.”

Galway City Museum will be hosting five workshops specifically for children with sensory difficulties and their siblings.

Led by Áine Lawless of Macnas, children can create colourful fish and other sea-themed creatures to take home. Volunteers from Galway Autism Partnership will provide assistance during each of the workshops.

Aisling Colreavy, co-ordinator at Galway Autism Partnership, said: “We are delighted to be part of SeaFest this year, and have an activity especially for children on the autism spectrum, and their siblings.

“Peer support is invaluable to our members, as these activities are a great opportunity to make connections with families and individuals in similar situations is very important in terms and understanding.”

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, a purpose-built marquee dubbed The Atlantic Theatre will showcase talks from multi-award winning cameraman Doug Allan and screenings of the documentary Ireland’s Deep Atlantic and popular Irish animation Song of the Sea. The Atlantic Theatre will be fitted with Loop Hearing to assist the hearing impaired.

SeaFest 2018 will offer a weekend of seafaring fun for all ages, with thrilling performances from world-class flyboarders, live seafood cookery demonstrations, vessel tours, a Defence Forces display and a host of marine-themed workshops for kids.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#Sailabiity - This year’s Watersports Inclusion Games will take place in Galway on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 August.

Following the success of the inaugural Watersports Inclusion Games in Dun Laoghaire last June, the second games will be hosted in 2018 on the River Corrib in Galway city at the Commercial Boat Club.

The free event celebrates sailing, rowing and canoeing for people of all abilities from the physical, sensory, intellectual and learning spectrums.

No experience is required and all equipment is provided over the weekend.

Participants and supporters can also watch competitive sailing on Galway Bay with the President’s Cup and Hansa National Championships being hosted by Galway Bay Sailing Club and Sailability Ireland, launching from Galway Docks.

The weekend is funded by Sport Ireland and organised by Irish Sailing in liaison with Canoeing Ireland, Rowing Ireland, Spinal Injuries Ireland, Galway Bay Sailing Club Sailability and Galway Local Sports Partnership, with waterside amenity at Steamer’s Quay courtesy of Corrib Navigation Trust.

Booking is required for activities and spaces are limited — to book as a participant or volunteer, contact [email protected].

For more details on the event, see the Irish Sailing website HERE.

Published in ISA

The Watersports Inclusion Games at Dun Laoghaire Harbour last summer have made the shortlist of nominees for the 2018 Irish Sport Industry Awards.

Hosted by Irish Sailing at the Royal St George Yacht Club in late June, the inaugural event for sailors of various abilities on the physical, sensory, intellectual and learning difficulty spectrums attracted over 220 participants plus their families and volunteers to try sailing, rowing and paddling.

All those taking part gave enthusiastic feedback about the weekend, which aimed to demonstrate to participants and service providers alike that watersport is accessible to all.

The games are in the running for the Sporting Innovation of the Year Award alongside Rowing Ireland’s ‘Get Going, Get Rowing’ campaign.

Winners will be announced at the Irish Sport Industry Awards in association with JLT Ireland in Dublin’s Smock Alley Theatre next Wednesday 7 March.

Published in ISA
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