venerdì 23 settembre 2016

RYA Sail for Gold Roadshow celebrates the Paralympics at Alton Watersports Centre

Some 161 visitors tried sailing or windsurfing as the RYA Sail for Gold Roadshow celebrated the Paralympics at Alton Watersports Centre near Ipswich on Saturday (17 September) which was also the Paralympic sailing medal race day in Rio. The event was fully accessible for people with disabilities.   The British Sailing Team’s Megan Pascoe, who sails in the 2.4mR class, was there to meet and greet visitors in the morning and in the afternoon she took some out on the water in a specially adapted boat from the Woolverstone Project - a local RYA Sailability group which provides sailing for those with disabilities. 

Megan described the freedom which sailing provides those with disabilities: “I liken it to a penguin, things can be difficult on land but perfect on the water! Days like this show that sailing is accessible and affordable regardless of your ability or background.”

Robbie Bell, RYA Regional Development Officer, said: “We’re working in conjunction with Alton Water Sports Centre and The Woolverstone Project to provide lots of free opportunities for people of all abilities to get out on the water and try sailing. Sailing is such a leveller, people with disabilities find they can get out on the water and have just as much fun as anyone else.”

Leah Bowers, who was there with six young people from Stowmarket Autism Spectrum Disorder Saturday Club, said of her group: “Four of the six haven’t sailed before and they’ve done fantastically today. The team here at Alton Water is great.”

Jane Ellison, the Disability Development Officer in the East Region, added: “Sailing is a fantastic sport for absolutely everybody. It’s a great leveller for people of any ability – they can get out there on a boat and feel free. People don’t always know they have facilities like this on their doorstep and days like today help us to make them aware.”

The RYA Sail for Gold Roadshow previously toured the UK during the Olympic medal race week with more than 1,100 people getting out on the water.

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