Northampton Sailability will celebrate a summer of making disability plain sailing as they prepare for a bumper weekend of showing even more local people how getting afloat can change lives (15-16 September).
The Northampton Sailing Club group will be out in force at the popular Rockin’ Roadrunner Festival in Abington Park on Sunday (16 September), while on Saturday (15 September) they host their annual Sail for Gold Regatta, inspired by the 2012 Olympics, where anyone interested in finding out more is welcome to to go along, watch the sailing, get a flavour of what Sailability is about and stay for the BBQ (pre-booking required for BBQ).
Sailability gives everyone of all abilities the chance to discover the physical and mental freedom that being on the water brings. Getting active afloat develops confidence as people learn new skills, enables independence that many don’t have on dry land and opens doors to friendships and a social life when chronic loneliness is all too common amongst disabled people*.
Around 25-30 people regularly get on the water at each Northampton Sailability session as the club offers a wide-range of specially-adapted boats, so anyone can just turn up and go sailing, and a host of different activities to appeal to all, from joy rides around the reservoir to people gaining RYA learn to sail certificates in dinghy and keelboat sailing and getting involved in competitive racing.
Roy Child, Northampton Sailability Chair, said: “Sailing is about so much more than sport. Being on the water is a great leveller for everyone regardless of disability and the physical and mental wellbeing benefits it brings really does positively change lives. We make it as easy as possible for anyone with any level of disability to get on the water and we’re looking forward to meeting even more new people this weekend.”
This summer Northampton Sailability has continued to go from strength-to-strength. A purpose-built store room, fitted out with the help of Northampton West Rotary and Travis Perkins, has enabled the club add to its already extensive range of kit for people to use, while in April they were presented with a state-of-the-art RS Venture Connect dinghy by Nene Valley Rotary Club and the Wooden Spoon charity to get more people afloat.
At the start of the school holidays, the club also supported Towcester Rotary by providing its annual fun day for Northamptonshire Young Carers, which works with young people that support a relative or friend who has a disability, long-term illness or other additional needs.
Northampton Sailability is part of the national RYA Sailability programme, which through its network of 200 groups and clubs throughout the UK has enabled more than 60,000 disabled people to experience sailing with around 18,000 now sailing regularly. To find out how you can get involved at Northampton Sailability visit www.northamptonsailability.org.uk
* 'Nearly half of disabled people chronically lonely’ (Scope, November 2017)