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Seven new members for RYA Sailability

by Susie Nation-Grainger on 30 Jul 2013
Tom Davenport, RYA Sailability Susie Nation-Grainger
RYA Sailability is capitalising on the post-Paralympic buzz and has appointed seven new members of the Sailability team who will encourage people with disabilities to take the water.

New Sailability Development Officers Tom Davenport and Leon Ward will target Sailability sites across the country to create more opportunities for people with disabilities to learn to sail and sail regularly.

Tom will work with Sailability sites across the North. He is no stranger to working with RYA Sailability has played an integral role in establishing a disability sailing participation pathway at Upton Warren Outdoor Education Centre. He has also helped the West Midlands stage ‘Sail LD’ events exclusively for sailors with learning disabilities.

Tom has also been appointed to the role of RYA Sailability Regional Organiser (RO) in the Midlands promoting Sailability and encouraging clubs and centres across the country to provide and enhance their disabled sailing facilities.

'I’m delighted to be joining the Sailability team' said Tom. 'The whole ethos of Sailability focuses on the acceptance that everyone is different and it is what each individual can do, not what they can’t, that can be nurtured into a lifelong involvement in sailing'.

Leon, a Senior Instructor with the West Wilts Youth Sailing Association will be working with Sailability sites across the South. Leon has been working with the RYA for four years as an RYA OnBoard Development Officer and Regional Club Coach and has been involved with supporting a number of new and existing RYA Sailability groups.

Along with Tom and Leon there will be five new ROs in the East, South East, Thames Valley, London and the North West regions. All the new ROs have a long history of working or sailing with people with disabilities for a number of years and have great knowledge and experience to share.

Regional Organisers are also key in co-ordinating disability awareness training in the area, working with disabled sailors and local clubs and centres.

New ROs’ are:

East Region: Brian Honour
South East Region: Fleur Bryant
Thames Valley: Sarah Cartwright
London: Nigel Bryan
North East: Stephen Scullion

Sarah Cartwright said: 'I’ve been involved in sailing and windsurfing since the age of 12 and have seen the huge difference the sport can make to people’s lives. I welcome the opportunity to be involved in the amazing work Sailability is doing and to pass on my skills to enable more people to benefit from these experiences'.

Debbie Blachford, RYA Sailability Manager said: 'Currently we have 170 Sailability clubs and centres in the UK and following the Paralympic Games we hope to see that number continue to grow. We’re delighted to welcome the new members of our Sailability team and wish them every success in their new roles.'

RYA Sailability encourages and supports people with disabilities to take up the sport and helps clubs to develop facilities to deal with a wide and diverse range of abilities.

Full details about the Sailability programme including contact details for your RO can be found at the RYA Sailability website.
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