The Westmeath Soul Sailing Programme in conjunction with the ISA rolled into action last week on Thursday the 1st of September in Lough Ree Yacht Club. This new initiative by the Westmeath Sport Partnership and the ISA focuses on getting women with disabilities sailing on the water within ISA Training Centres. 

The Social Inclusion Officer Mary Duignan, while providing financial assistance to run the programme also organised the different groups and was able to give a breakdown of each person’s ability to the centre before the group arrived. The information on each individual and organisation of finding appropriate groups is an invaluable resource to the programme. 

ISA Regional Development Officer Ciarán Murphy provided a “Coaching People with Disabilities Workshop” to the club members and instructors in preparation for the groups’ arrival. The first group to avail of the sailing session was a group of Ladies with Learning Difficulties from Athlone. They all had an opportunity to sail in the Drascombe Dabber, sail the specialised Access 303 and then go for a blast in the rescue boat. The group thoroughly enjoyed their day and have booked a second session that will incorporate a small trip and a picnic before we identify suitable sailors to try an ISA Start Sailing course in the spring 2012. 

The next session is scheduled for ISA Training Centre Baysports Watersport Centre on Tuesday the 6th of September with a different group. The Programme will continue to offer different groups through different ISA Training Centres in Westmeath for the following year and hopes to get a number of ladies up to Start Sailing proficiency and for sailor and Training Centres to develop continued relationships.

For further information on the Programme contact:
Mary Duignan | Sports Inclusion Development Officer (SIDO) 
Phone: +353-44-9338921 | +353-44-9390208    

Or for Training Instructors or Staff on Coaching People with Disabilities contact:
Ciarán Murphy ISA Regional Development Officer on 087 8800744 or

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