Access Sailing had an even busier and more successful season in Dun Laoghaire this year. Run by the Dun Laoghaire Combined Clubs Access Sailing Group a total of 30 children with physical and sensorial disabilities between the ages of 8 and 17 took part in the programme.

The sailing started with an Introductory Day run by the Royal Irish Yacht Club in mid June followed by Sunday morning sailing run by the Royal St George Yacht Club in conjunction with the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club on every Sunday till the end of August. In all 22 eager young people attended and each week they looked forward to their hour on the water in the specially designed Access Dinghies. A total of 11 children attended very well run and successful four day courses in the National Yacht Club in June and the Royal Irish in August in conjunction with the junior section courses.

This year the group were anxious to provide the opportunity to progress for those who wanted to but at the same time recognising that the principle objective is to get children out on the water. With this in mind they adapted a logbook which was marked up each week by the instructor and at the end of the course an ISA certificate was awarded. Everybody got the ‘Taste of Sailing’ while others were awarded the ‘Start Sailing’ cert and progressed to ‘Basic Skills’.

The group have carried out a post mortem on this season’s programme and amongst other things the group is keen to provide children further opportunities to progress next year. One way of doing this is to allow those who are ready for it to participate with the other children in the full junior section courses in the clubs. Apart from this it is intended to provide a similar programme next year.

They now have four Access 303 dinghies in Dun Laoghaire which are essential to provide a safe but at the same time hands on facility for disabled children to go sailing. The group are much indebted to Dublin Port who sponsored a second boat this year and to the Irish Disabled Sailing Association for another boat. Their thanks are also due to the clubs for the use of their premises and providing instructors and also to the trusty band of volunteers who helped both at the Sunday sailing and the 4 day courses as the children and their parents get a great deal out of the sailing and are very appreciative of the opportunity

Dun Laoghaire Combined Clubs Access Sailing Group
Posted in: Disabled Sailing
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