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Cirencester Round Table support disabled sailing

by David Durston 22 Jan 2017 11:27 GMT 22 January 2017
(l-r) Simon Clark, David Durston, Simon Franklands, Guy Elkins and Tony Wootley © Whitefriars Sailing Club

Sailability @ Whitefriars, the disabled sailing section of the Whitefriars Sailing Club in the Cotswold waterpark, is kitting up for the new season. Cirencester Round Table have very kindly donated £6000 for the purchase of a new Hansa 303 dinghy.

Other grants have been received from Barnwood Trust, Gloucester County Council, Awards for All, as well as an anonymous donation, which has enabled us to purchase a RS Venture with adaptive equipment to enable people with more severe physical disabilities to sail independently. They have also enabled us to fund essential equipment for safety, such as more appropriate lifejackets and helmets.

Last season the group welcomed several new individual members, as well as new groups such as Asphasia Now, a charity supporting people living with the affects of a stroke, and Forget-me-Not who support people with dementia. An influx of new volunteers from within the club, from other clubs within the Cotswolds, and also helpers from the local community, has helped our group to be able to provide sailing for more people with disabilities. We are incredibly grateful for their support, and we hope to attract more this season to help with rigging boats, safety cover, administration, instructing, and as sailing buddies.

Our group have been implementing the RYA Achievement Award scheme, as well as the traditional level 1 & 2 system as appropriate. This has delivered some fantastic results, enabling people to be more involved and fulfilled through sailing; with some going on to sail independently, and even taking their parents out for the first time. Whitefriars are an inclusive club, and disabled sailing is integrated. We encourage sailors with a level of competence to join the main club, and take part in racing, regattas, and social events. This year we are planning to provide support on some Saturdays, so that people with disabilities who cannot attend Wednesday sessions can have an opportuity to sail.

Our season starts in March with training for our volunteers, followed by sailing which starts 5th April. We would be delighted to welcome new members and volunteers. Please get in touch if you feel you are the person to help disabled people achieve something from sailing.

For more details on disabled sailing please contact David Durston by email on or visit the Club's website www.whitefriarssc.org

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