Boating is one of the very few sports in which able-bodied
sailors and disabled sailors can participate on equal terms. There are many
opportunities for people with a disability to get afloat on all types of boats.
Sailability is the RYA’s national programme to support and
encourage and people with disabilities to take up sailing.
With 202 recognised RYA Sailability sites in the UK, there
are many opportunities for disabled sailors to get out on the water, whether alone
or in a double-handed boat.
Through Sailability over 53,000 young people and adults with
disabilities are introduced to sailing each year, with many going on to sail on
a regular basis at RYA-recognised clubs and centres across the country.
Many clubs are able to provide specially adapted boats and
equipment for their members to use, with access boats such as the two-person
Hansa 303 commonly used by disability sailing groups.
Sailability clubs are open to all regardless of age or
disability, with many also holding special events and racing competitions
throughout the year.
Should you wish to expand your experiences further,
Canalability offers opportunities for anyone to go narrow boating throughout
Sally Wallace regularly sails with Bolton Sailability, and
believes sailing regularly offers her a sense of freedom that is hard to match.
“I’d not done a lot of small boat sailing previously, so
sailing has really given me new life."
“There is a great
support network at my Sailability club. There are two guys who come and help
and we just arrange so I confirm I’m going and they make sure they’re there to
“I even like going sailing in the rain, because it makes me
feel alive, and once I’m out there I’m away and have freedom."
“It’s absolutely amazing – it’s an exhilarating feeling and
really makes you feel active and involved.”
You can find out more about RYA Sailability and any upcoming events
at the dedicated website.