Ian was born and grew up in Poole, UK on March 21, 1937 and passed away in Leicester, UK on August 26, 2016 aged 79.
A foundation member of both the Sailability movement and the International Foundation for Disabled Sailing (IFDS), his energy and commitment was key to sailing being accepted as a Paralympic medal sport in 2000. He was also the IFDS Technical Delegate for the first Paralympic Sailing Competition in Sydney.
Ian is survived by his dedicated and loving wife Pauline, herself an energetic and committed volunteer for their sport and the community. Pauline was Chair of the IFDS Development Committee for countless years, organising conferences and seminars and supporting Ian in all his endeavours. Their unique partnership has enabled the sport to create many opportunities for sailors with a disability at the participation, development and high performance levels.
Ian's outstanding contributions to sport and the community have already been formally recognised. In 1988, he was awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire). In 2005, Ian was awarded the IPC Paralympic Order, the highest tribute a person connected with the Paralympic Movement can achieve. Other holders of the Paralympic Order include former President of the IOC Juan Antonio Samaranch, with Ian being the first person directly connected with sailing to receive the Order. ISAF (now World Sailing) awarded the ISAF Long Service Gold Medal to Ian in 2008.
Ian trained as a social worker in Britain and was to finish a distinguished career as the Director of the Leicestershire Association of the Disabled. Ian was a founding member of Sailability in the 1980s, starting the British organization with the overriding aim that no disabled person should be denied the opportunity to sail. He went on to become Chairman and then Vice-Chairman when Sailability merged with the Royal Yachting Association's Seamanship Foundation to become RYA Sailability. Ian became an IFDS Vice-Chairman at the foundation's inception in 1988, and ten years later took over the role of Chairman. Ian retired from the post of Chairman at the beginning of 2005.
Sailability Manager Debbie Blachford said: "Ian was instrumental in
laying the foundations for RYA Sailability to become the programme it
is today. He has always been an advocate for the sport, enabling disabled
people to sail inclusively and to their best ability. Our thoughts
are with Pauline and family at this sad time".