Rotary gives many a chance to sail

Ashwini SaseedaranSouth Western Times

ROTARY Sail Into Life’s success was celebrated last week at Koombana Bay Sailing Club at its end-of-season festivities.

The program uses specially designed disabled access dinghies to provide positive experiences for people who may not otherwise have a chance to enjoy the thrill of sailing.

Program coordinator Sharon Kavanagh said this season provided challenges, adventures and excitement for many.

“Although the program targets people at risk of isolation from the impact of disability, illness and socio-economic barriers, it also encourages participation by family members, carers and friends,” she said.

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The initiative began in 2005 and has since grown to include a fleet of five double dinghies and two single dinghies running three or four sailing sessions every week.

Participant Ariel Black said the program was a life-changing experience she was glad to have tried.

“I gave it a shot and it felt like I had found a missing piece of me – it’s very relaxing so that’s why I keep coming back,” she said.

A new unique vessel built specifically for Sail Into Life with an accessibility ramp and electric fishing reels was announced at the event to be christened into the fleet next month.

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