by Karenza Morton.
Date: 16 December 2011
More than a third more disabled adults in Lincolnshire will be able to get out on the water and enjoy sailing in 2012 after Hykeham Sailability was awarded £10,000 from Sport England to invest in a new boat.
Launched two years ago at Apex Lakes, around 40 local disabled people have regularly enjoyed getting out on the water with Hykeham Sailability, which is part of the national Sailability programme run by British sailing’s national governing body, the RYA, to provide opportunities for disabled people to learn to sail and sail regularly.
But with more community and charity groups than ever wanting to get involved in sailing, Hykeham Sailability didn’t want to be turning people away so the decision was made to apply for a Sports England Small Grant to buy a new .
Now with the Dabber added to their existing fleet of Access dinghies, Hykeham Sailability hope up to 65 people will be able to sail with them over the next 12 months.
Keven Roberts, Hykeham Sailability Chairman, explains: “Demand was exceeding capacity and we were turning disabled sailors away as we did not have enough boats. Sailing is one of the very few sports in which able-bodied sailors and disabled sailors can participate on equal terms and Hykeham Sailability is actively working to get more adults participating.
“The new Dabber will help us to do that. It will make a big difference to all those people with severe disabilities because it is a boat that is designed as a sea going boat so is therefore a very stable boat on a lake. We are looking forward to helping even more people get out on the water with Hykeham Sailability.”
Janet Inman, Lincolnshire Sports Partnership CEO, added: “Lincolnshire Sports Partnership is keen to support Hykeham Sailability, which provides an invaluable resource to the community not just of Hykeham but the county as a whole. They have an excellent group of coaches and volunteers supporting the programme that produces high quality opportunities for disabled individuals to take part in this exciting, invigorating sport.”
Hykeham Sailability is based at Hykeham Sailing Club, and the group also works closely with the Lincoln and District Sailing Association which, as an RYA Recognised Training Centre, supports Hykeham Sailability with formal training.
The group is underpinned by the commitment of 40 dedicated volunteers, who all willingly give over their time to provide these opportunities for Lincolnshire’s disabled community.
Howard Nelson, RYA East Midlands Chairman, said: “Sailing is a hugely sociable sport and Sailability groups are an integral part of so many sailing clubs and centres in the UK. The achievement and enjoyment that comes from getting afloat is huge. Self esteem is, without question, one of the biggest things people get from sailing.”
Last year the number of people introduced to sailing through RYA Sailability, supported by Sport England and the Sailability Trust, smashed through 25,000 worldwide. Hundreds of new people try sailing every year through RYA Sailability’s 150+ groups in the UK alone.
For more information on how you can get into sailing and windsurfing in Lincolnshire visit: