First Sail­abil­ity ses­sion for 2014

Whitsunday Times - - ON THE WATER -

SAIL­ABIL­ITY Whit­sun­day is up and run­ning for 2014 with its first ses­sion of the year held this week.

From Tues­day on­wards, the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s ded­i­cated band of about 12 vol­un­teers ex­pects to launch four 303 ac­cess dinghies from the Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club beach per week, to help people with dis­abil­i­ties get out on the Whit­sun­day wa­ters.

Sail­abil­ity Whit­sun­day is the lo­cal branch of the Aus­tralian and world­wide or­gan­i­sa­tion through which par­tic­i­pants learn to sail in an easy-to-un­der­stand and fun way, un­der the su­per­vised guid­ance of ac­cred­ited vol­un­teer skip­pers.

Sec­re­tary Jenny Strat­ford said the pri­mary fo­cus was on en­joy­ing recre­ational sail­ing and hav­ing a few laughs with a friendly and lov­able group of people, ir­re­spec­tive of their vary­ing range of abil­i­ties and dis­abil­i­ties.

“But for those who de­velop an enthusiasm and love for the sport it could lead to rac­ing and high per­for­mance op­por­tu­ni­ties such as com­pet­ing in 303 dinghy ti­tles,” she said.

Com­mu­nity So­lu­tions sup­port worker Don- na Van­der­wolf said par­tic­i­pants “ab­so­lutely love it”.

“For one of our clients for ex­am­ple, it’s about the sen­sory side of things – be­ing able to be free, re­laxed and calmed by the fresh air and the wa­ter,” she said.

“And it’s about get­ting them out in the com­mu­nity, mix­ing with the vol­un­teers and other people with dis­abil­i­ties as well.”

Sail­abil­ity Whit­sun­day runs with 100 per cent vol­un­teer sup­port, op­er­at­ing fi­nan­cially by re­ly­ing on lo­cal spon­sor­ship and do­na­tions from within the com­mu­nity.

Last Tues­day’s of­fi­cer of the day Nikki Twohill said the rea­son she vol­un­teered was “to be part of the com­mu­nity that gives as much as it takes”.

“I love the in­ter­ac­tion with all in­volved and it is a won­der­ful feel­ing to watch the sheer joy on the faces of in­di­vid­u­als who are less able than me es­pe­cially as they de­part the pon­toon in a dinghy,” she said

To reg­is­ter as a vol­un­teer make a do­na­tion to the or­gan­i­sa­tion phone Nikki Twohill on 0433 989 044 or 0427 059 688.

GOOD TIMES: Voun­teers from Sail­abil­ity Whit­sun­day (SW) and car­ers from Com­mu­nity So­lu­tions (CS) and Bowen Flexi­care (BF), en­joyed help­ing lo­cals with vary­ing lev­els of dis­abil­i­ties get out on the wa­ter. Pic­tured are: Gra­ham Jig­gins (SW), Peter Wil­holm (SW), Terry Mur­ray (CS), Tyler Smith, Donny Hines, Steve Lars­son (SW), Char­lie Bell, Donna Van­der­wolf (CS), Kathryn Dor­man, Mar­garet Lars­son (SW), Nathan Bell (BF), Tracey Dig­nan, Alex Brown, Ser­ena Aman­do­lia, Nikki Twohill (SW), Jenny Strat­ford (SW), Wayne Lowth, Brent War­con, Reudy Chu­rio, Kevin David­son, Bob Borer (SW), Ch­eryl O'Keeffe (BF), Dave Win­tour (SW), Peter Cros­bie (CS) and Ruth Muller (SW).

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