First Sailability session for 2014
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).