Celebrations were in order at Castle Semple Watersports Centre when it was officially launched as an RYA Sailability Centre of Excellence this past weekend (Sunday 18 March).
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Located on the scenic shores of Castle Semple Loch in Lochwinnoch, the watersports centre has been recognised for its fantastic facilities which enable local disabled adults to get out on the water and experience sailing.
The award was presented by Councillor David Author, Chair of Clyde Muirshiel Park Authority, Ross Anderson President of The Rotary Club of Gryffe Valley and Debbie Blachford, RYA Sailability Manager.
'Everyone has worked really hard to achieve Centre of Excellence status; it’s a superb demonstration of working in partnership with others to achieve a common goal, more sailing opportunities for disabled people' said Debbie Blachford.
Ross Anderson President, Rotary Club of Gryffe Valley also presented a Crewlift hoist which was funded by the club.
'Raising money to benefit such a worthwhile project fits perfectly with the Rotary motto which is ‘service before self’ he explained.
The perfect sailing conditions, sunshine with a good breeze, were enjoyed by sailors from local disability organisations who took to the water throughout the day. Guests were also invited to watch shorebased demonstrations of boats and specialist equipment with experts on hand to answer any questions about opportunities to go sailing in Scotland.
David Hill Regional RYA Sailability Regional Organiser has worked hard to pull together this large project and co-ordinate all the partners involved. 'We are delighted to be able to award Scotland’s first Sailability Centre of Excellence' he explained.
'Castle Semple Watersports Centre provides an outstanding programme of leisure, formal training and racing for disabled children and adults .We hope this opportunity will encourage even more disabled people to come and enjoy sailing' he concluded.
For more information about Sailability visit www.rya.org.uk/ryasailability