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Exploring RPAYC's amazing Community Sailing Program

by Steve Collopy 22 Jul 2023 00:24 BST
RPAYC Community Sailing Program © Explore Social

Sydney-based disability support program, Explore Social has discovered the magic of sailing having recently teamed with the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club's community sailing program which aims to get not-for-profit groups out on the water to discover sailing.

Explore Social's Co-founder Louella Edwards couldn't be happier with the outcome and it's something that Explore Social's clients have always wanted to do but we're a little "hesitant."

"Our clients' abilities differ and as much we encourage them to try new things but sometimes, they can be a little hesitant especially with something really different like learning how to sail but the team at RPAYC made us feel safe and welcome the moment we walked through the door." Said Louella

Once the team were out on the water in the sun and breeze those "hesitations" went out the window! Turns out there's some fierce competition within group as they battled it out in mini-races out on Pittwater. As Louella explains it got a little heated when it comes to bragging rights.

"Sometimes we do have to gently remind our clients that it's not a competition but it is great to see some friendly banter and it's great to see everyone so comfortable to express themselves." Said Louella.

Aside from the fun and games there are some real lessons being learned. It may not be a big deal for other spending a day on the water but for Explore Social it's a great exercise in developing a sense of personal achievement.

Ranging from different abilities it can lend itself for individuals to be "unable" but being able to take control and help sail a boat shows the world that they can and are more than able. Something Explore Social strongly advocates

"It's hard to comprehend how it must feel constantly being told that you aren't capable of doing something because of your ability and we're (Explore Social) all about building confidence and fishing is a great way to do that and they can show the world how capable they are." Said Louella.

The team can't thank RPAYC enough for the experience and the professionalism from the Club's staff and management in creating an inclusive environment. With summer just around the corner Explore Social aims to bring sailing into their schedule as a regular activity with the goal of getting clients into sailing on their own.

"We can't thank the Club enough for the experience! The clients want to do more and the club has some great opportunities to get involved the regular sailing season this summer and we'll work with the club to make this happen." Said Louella.

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