Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Irish Sailing’s mission is to provide an environment in which all our activities including sailing, windsurfing and powerboating are developed, supported, and promoted for everyone to enjoy. Our affiliated Clubs and Centres offer an inclusive, diverse, and welcoming sense of belonging to everyone, irrespective of gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, race, or minority community and/or disability.
In collaboration with Sport Ireland, Cara Sport Inclusion Ireland, other key stakeholders, we support various projects and programmes to encourage people to enjoy the sports of sailing throughout our network of Clubs and Centres all over Ireland.
Sailing for All ASD Innovation Project
Irish Sailing have partnered with Clare Sports Partnership, Get Autism Active, Anitech Solutions and others to design an interactive platform for children with Autism, to help them to become familiar with sailing from the comfort of their own home or school environment before attending a water training course. Being in an outdoor environment and participating in activities such as watersports is proven to be highly beneficial to people with ASD’s overall health and wellbeing. While acknowledging the benefits, a number of families involved in the project discussed challenges such as aversion to new environments, not liking wetsuits, too much noise, too many new people, fear of water etc.
In cooperation with these families the project identified possible solutions to bring the initial sport into the child’s home or school environment and involve them using interactive technology. The platform shows and tells the student how to sail, through a series of videos, where the student may pick the environment, the coach or the voice of the person delivering the training and then complete tappable tasks to check for comprehension.
Students will see story boards showing what is ahead for them and the platform may also be used by the coach to engage with the student. The platform also has the capacity for non-verbal communicators to learn and in time will facilitate them taking command of the boat and leading their crew on board.
The project is currently being in piloted in Kilrush Marina with the Royal Western Yacht Club county Clare and with Club Mara Chonamara Láir in Galway with plans to scale up the programme to other counties. For children, families, coaches or clubs and centres interested in finding out more on the Sailing for All Project please contact Irish Sailing’s National Children’s Officer.
LGBTQI+ Get out Sailing Programme
In partnership with Sporting Pride and in the build-up to the European Week of Sport for the month of September Irish Sailing is looking for affiliated Clubs to run Start Sailing Courses for members of the LGBTQI+ Community. This initiative is funded by Sport Ireland Dormant Account Funding and bursaries to cover the costs of running the course will be available and a nominal fee paid by the participant. This will hopefully create new membership opportunities for the Club and any Club keen to be involved in this programme please contact email@example.com or 087 8800744.
Women on the Water
Irish Sailing funds projects to support Women on the Water programmes that to promote, support and encourage women in sailing.
Watersports Inclusion Games
Watersports Inclusion Games is an annual award-winning FREE multi-watersport event for all abilities/disabilities from the physical, intellectual, sensory and learning spectrums and those who experience barriers accessing mainstream sport. Catering for ALL ages, participants together with family and friends can access the exciting sports of Sailing, Canoeing, Kayaking, Rowing, Paddleboarding, Powerboating, Motorboating, Dragonboating, Waterskiing, Snorkelling, and more!
All activities and equipment are provided and no experience is necessary.
Watersports Inclusion Games is organised by Irish Sailing in association with Canoeing Ireland, Rowing Ireland, Irish Wakeboarding and Waterski Federation, Diving Ireland, Sports Active Wexford, Wexford Harbour Boat and Tennis Club, Spinal Injuries Ireland, Shielbaggan OEC, supported by Sailability Ireland, Sport Inclusion Ireland, Slaney Purple Paddlers, Kinsale OEC, Ramor Watersports Club, Waterabilities, Wet Mongrel Adventure, and many others.
The event won Project of the Year at the National Inclusion Awards in 2018. Since then the games have gone from strength to strength with over 300 participants and 200 volunteers.
Our next event is happening soon. For full details see
Watersports Inclusion Games
Sailability Ireland is a not-for-profit organisation that promotes sailing for people with physical disabilities throughout the 32 counties of Ireland. Irish Sailing supports Sailability’s objectives of developing training, promoting sailing programmes and supporting regional and national events.
Our aims for inclusive sailing are:
• To provide the necessary support for people with disabilities to sail.
• Encourage sailing as an activity, mainly for pleasure, but also to support those who wish to develop their competitive potential.
• Train volunteers, sailors, instructors, family and friends to facilitate sailors with physical disabilities to enjoy our sport.
• Develop and foster team spirit between able bodied and those with disabilities, through leisure and competitive sailing.
Find Clubs with Inclusion programmes
Dun Laoghaire Sailability
Duncan Lyster on (086) 833 0001 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Donal Hickey email@example.com +353 86 7332309
Galway Bay Sailability
Pat Ryan firstname.lastname@example.org +353 86 7759216
Belfast Lough Sailability Group
Anne Taylor email@example.com +44 (0) 75 99689280
Please get in touch with Ciaran Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org / 087 8800744 with any questions or if you want to know more about Sailability Sailing in your area.
If you are an EDI officer and wish to organise an Inclusive event at your club, please talk to us to see how we can help, and see our Event Toolkit in Club Development