Irish Sailing News



Award-winning Games took place at Ramor Watersports Club, Co. Cavan on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June

More than 500 participants from the physical, sensory, intellectual and learning spectrums take to the water, with another 280 volunteers

Almost 3,500 individual watersport experiences

The sun shone on the 523 people with physical, sensory, intellectual and learning disabilities who took part in an outstanding weekend at the sixth annual Watersports Inclusion Games at Lough Ramor, Co. Cavan.

This year’s participants tried out more sports than ever before, with a range including sailing, paddling, canoeing, paddle-boarding, wake-boarding, water skiing, radio controlled boating, powerboating and even tag rugby on offer.

The Watersports Inclusion Games are an award-winning event organised by Irish Sailing, with partners from across the watersports sector. The event enables people of all abilities from the physical, sensory, intellectual and learning spectrums and those who experience other barriers to participation to take to the water to take part in a wide range of water activities.

Janet McGuigan, first time participant and carer for her husband Tommy commented, “The atmosphere was electric, everyone was buzzing - it was like a magic enabling lift to his feet!”

Attendees ranged in age from pre-teens to seniors and came from across the country. Some were repeat participants, and some were first timers. All activities were tailored to each participant’s level and ability – so no two experiences were the same.

There were stand-up paddle boards, canoeing, accessible wake-boarding, thrilling fast-boat rides, and all sorts of sailing on Lough Ramor today as the weather continued to bless the event on Sunday.

John Wilson of Ramor Watersports Club said: “It was an utter privilege to host the Watersports Inclusion Games here at Ramor and I’d like to thank the scores of brilliant volunteers who gave up their time to ensure the event was such a great success.”

The organisers of the Games wanted to let people of all abilities know that there are multiple watersports available to them, and to encourage more people from all backgrounds to get involved and out on the water. They aim to highlight that any barriers faced by people, such as disabilities, socio-economic factors and under-representation can be eliminated.

The social, health and wellness benefits associated with sailing and all watersports are well documented. These include improved muscle strength and endurance, improved cardiovascular fitness and increased agility, enhanced spatial awareness, greater mental wellness through the balancing of serotonin levels and the lowering of stress levels, improved concentration and the forging of positive relationships.

Sarah-Louise Rossiter, COO of Irish Sailing, added: “This is the sixth year of the Watersports Inclusion Games and it is an honour to carry forward this legacy. May the Watersports Inclusion Games not just be a day of activities, but a celebration of unity, friendship, and the enduring power of coming together as one. I’d like to thank everyone, in particular the volunteers and participants, for being a part of this special day, and may it continue inspire generations to come.”

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