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Volunteering with the All Afloat project on Marine Lake in North Wales

by Hamish Stuart 18 Dec 2019 20:07 GMT

A parent of disabled children has started volunteering to help others after getting involved with the All Afloat project on Marine Lake in North Wales.

Gary Richards, from Corwen, got involved when the leading charity for enabling children and minority groups to access sailing and boating started providing opportunities over the summer months in Rhyl.

The former Rhyl Sea Cadet saw the benefit it was offering for everyone, not just his own children, and began helping out at the sessions.

His passion and commitment to the project showed he could become a vital part of the group moving forward.

In partnership with RYA Cymru Wales and Plas Menai the National Outdoor Centre in Caernarfon, Gary was able to complete a 16 week Instructor Course which will allow him to instruct sailing, windsurfing and stand up paddleboarding.

"I was so pleased to be supported by All Afloat and RYA Cymru Wales to access the Instructor Course," said Richards.

"I have loved every minute of it, making new friends for life, building my own confidence and self-esteem as well giving me employability opportunities.

"This has been truly life-changing and I can't wait to give back to my local community that opportunity of getting out on the water and enjoying sailing."

Rosy Hearn, All Afloat Manager, added, "This shows the impact that the charity has, ultimately it is to get more people sailing and boating, but what Gary has achieved is so much more.

"We hope to engage Gary on projects next year, which will include working on Sailability opportunities, which are providing sailing for disabled people. We would like to thank Plas Menai Outdoor Centre for providing this opportunity."

To find out more about the All Afloat charity, please go here. All Afloat is a RYA Cymru Wales and Sport Wales backed programme designed to reach out to those who would not have considered developing boating and sailing skills an opportunity available to them.

Sport and physical literacy does not solely promote health benefits. Sport has the power to change lives through the life skills it promotes. All Afloat introduces young people to the sailing pathway, promotes a range of life skills whilst getting them hooked on sport for life.

For further details about Welsh sailing and watersports, please go to www.rya.org.uk/rya-regions/rya-cymru-wales

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