Irish Sailing’s exciting new inclusion projects aimed at getting kids with autism active on the water
One of the key values embedded into the Irish Sailing Strategic Plan is inclusivity and ensuring that our sports are accessible to all. So Irish Sailing are delighted to announce four exciting inclusion projects taking place this year. All will be funded by the 2021 Dormant Account Fund (DAF) allocated by Sport Ireland and ringfenced for making sport more accessible to people from disadvantaged areas and minority groups.
Sailing for All is a new innovation project that uses information technology and software to bridge the communication gap for children with autism to learn how to sail. Irish Sailing has partnered with Clare Local Sports Partnership, Dr. Susan Crawford of www.getautismactive.com, Andrew Nolan of www.anitechsolutions.com and Kilrush Marina Training Centre & Royal Western YC to pilot the project. The team have had a number of explorative meetings, and will be implementing an Autism Awareness Campaign shortly in preparation for first phase trials taking place in the summer at Kilrush Marina.
The annual Watersports Inclusion Games will take place on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th of June at Lough Derg Yacht Club. After two years of adapted local events due to the pandemic, the plan is to run a large-scale event with approximately 150 attendees and 100 volunteers over both days. This year’s focus is encouraging everyone to re-engage with each other and enjoy our watersports. As well as sailing, powerboating, canoeing, kayaking, water-skiing and stand-up paddleboarding, 2022 will see new additions such as social rowing, dragon boat racing and tandem cycling. As always, the Games are open to everyone and we welcome as many volunteers from all over the club and centre network to come and share their passions. Details will be announced on www.sailing.ie/watersports-Inclusion-Games
The new Leadership Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Programme is a mentor programme for adolescents on the autism spectrum. Led by Tessa Kingston in collaboration with Sailing into Wellness, the plan is to run five courses in clubs along the East Coast of Ireland to highlight the full potential of people with ASD. This programme will dovetail into the Sailing For All innovation project, which will build a bank of awareness videos to support people assimilate to sailing and a new environment from the comfort of their own home. More about the programme can be seen here
Sailfleet Inclusive Mobile Units have been purchased by Irish Sailing as part of the DAF Capital Programme for Core Inclusion. Building on the Sailfleet J80 Team Racing fleet, Irish Sailing proudly now has a variety of vessels to make sailing more accessible to everyone:
- RS Venture Connect Keelboat - two seats in parallel with console controls
- 2 x Hawk 20s - open unsinkable self-launching keelboats with inboard engine
- Pioneer Multi – a powerboat with drop down bow with accessible console
- Large Family SUP Board – fully accessible for wheelchair user and family
These boats will be available to all Irish Sailing affiliated clubs and centres on a weekly charter basis throughout the year from Easter 2022 onwards. Irish Sailing will provide free Disability Inclusion Training to organisations and the fleet may be booked out for national initiatives such as the President’s Cup, Watersports Inclusion Games or Innovation Projects.
If you would like to get involved in any of the projects above or find out more, please contact email@example.com