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Challenge Wales becomes largest sailing boat in Wales to join RYA's Sailability scheme

by Hamish Stuart 23 Sep 2018 14:11 BST
Challenge Wales © WYA

Challenge Wales has become the largest sailing boat in Wales to join the RYA's Sailability scheme and offer opportunities for people with a disability.

Sailability has helped more than 53,000 young people and adults with disabilities to try sailing and take part regularly, mastering the skills and confidence for a lifetime on the water.

While there are plenty of dinghy Sailability centres in Wales, only Sea Legs in Neyland in West Wales offers the sea going opportunities through a 31 foot catamaran, making Challenge Wales the largest Sailability boat in Wales.

Challenge Wales is a 72 foot yacht and training centre with a track record of helping children with a disability.

"This is a welcome addition to the Sailability scheme," said Pete Muskett, RYA Cymru Wales development officer for South Wales.

"Because it is also a training centre, it means people with a disability can go all the way through to their Yachtmaster qualifications.

"There are also opportunities to volunteer with Challenge Wales, so hopefully people with a disability can use this to develop sailing as a hobby or potentially a career.

"The great advantage for Challenge Wales is that now it is within the sailing family of the RYA, people looking for accessible sailing will find Challenge Wales. There is also the RYA support the Sailability scheme can offer them."

The news was welcomed by those involved with the Tall Ship and former round-the-world race yacht. "Challenge Wales is a 72 foot yacht and we're a sail training vessel. The idea of the Challenge Wales charity is to help young people develop their life skills," explained trustee Vicky Williams.

"So it is all about developing their team work, communication, their self-confidence and self-esteem, so they can become more positive and take part in more activities in their community.

"The Challenge Wales sailing charity has worked with more than 2,000 young people over the past nine years since we've been operating.

"We have had a variety of young people on board our vessels, ranging from those on the autistic spectrum, blind, visually impaired people, deaf youngsters, those who are in school and those who are out of school.

"We felt it was important for us to become a Sailability centre so that we could work with more young people and make sailing and sail training more accessible to a lot more young people in Wales."

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