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Kinsale Yacht Club Launches Watersport Inclusion Games

18th May 2019
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Bryan Dobson and Minister for State at the Department of Health Jim Daly launched the Games in Kinsale. Scroll down for photo gallery Bryan Dobson and Minister for State at the Department of Health Jim Daly launched the Games in Kinsale. Scroll down for photo gallery Photo: Bob Bateman

Minister for State at the Department of Health Jim Daly launched the Watersports Inclusion Games 2019 at Kinsale Yacht Club writes Bob Bateman. The event, set to take place in Kinsale harbour and environs on 24th and 25th August, is a landmark event celebrating watersports for people of all abilities from the physical, sensory, intellectual and learning spectrums, and of all ages and demographics. The games were launched with Bryan Dobson of RTE as Master of Ceremonies together with Event Ambassadors; 11 time Paralympian Sailor John Twomey, World Para-Sailor Gina Griffin, along with Special Olympian Kayaker Oisin Feery.

Following the overwhelming success of the event in Dun Laoghaire 2017 and Galway 2018 (scooping Project of the Year at the 2018 CARA National Inclusion Awards), this year’s event, hosted by Kinsale Yacht Club, will take place at several locations around Kinsale including the main harbour and marina, Castlepark beach and Garretstown beach. There will be sailing, kayaking, canoeing, rowing, surfing, water skiing and fast boat rides on offer and 200+ participants are expected to take part across the weekend.

KInsale Watersport inclusion1The games were launched with Bryan Dobson of RTE as Master of Ceremonies together with Event Ambassadors; 11 time Paralympian Sailor John Twomey, World Para-Sailor Gina Griffin, along with Special Olympian Kayaker Oisin Feery Photo: Bob Bateman

This is a national event which aims to showcase the best of Irish inclusive watersports practice and facilitation and is organised by Irish Sailing in association with Canoeing Ireland, Rowing Ireland and Cork Local Sports Partnership along with Kinsale Yacht Club Sailability and Kinsale Outdoor Education Centre. The event is supported with activities by Spinal Injuries Ireland, Irish Waterski and Wakeboard Federation and Surf 2 Heal, in addition to those of the National Governing Bodies involved. Offering further support are numerous local and national organisations including Sailing into Wellness, Sail Training Ireland, Special Olympics Ireland, and clubs and training centres from around the country who will support the event with resources, volunteers, instructors and facilitators.

The games, as a landmark occasion rounding up the summer watersports calendar, is the product of ongoing inclusion trainings and awareness drives being activated by the organising bodies in line with Sport Ireland’s Policy on Participation in sport by People with Disabilities and is enabled by grant funding from Sport Ireland Dormant Accounts Sports Inclusion Fund.

Speaking at the launch, 11 time Paralympian John Twomey said: ’I am delighted to be here to help launch the third annual Watersports Inclusion Games. It is events such as this, that will help to inspire people of all abilities to take part in watersports activity and perhaps even one day compete for Ireland in Paralympic sport.’

Harry Hermon, Chief Executive of Irish Sailing spoke at the launch, stating: ‘Now in its third year, the Inclusion Games is already becoming an annual landmark occasion, celebrating inclusive watersports activity. By raising national awareness of inclusive opportunities, and encouraging more watersports providers to adopt an equal-access approach to watersports delivery, we aim to perpetuate a culture of inclusive best-practice throughout watersports.’

Photo Gallery By Bob Bateman

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