Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 728x90

Special Olympics Australia Sailability Team need help for World Games

by Alex McNeilly on 27 Feb 2011
Special Olympics Australia Sailing athletes enjoying Adelaide Waters in the 2010 competition - 2010 Sailability competition at IX National Special Olympics Australia Games Alex McNeilly
Special Olympics Australia transforms the lives of children and adults with an intellectual disability through year-round sports training, sports participation and competition in a variety of team and individual sports. Sailing is becoming a very popular sport and will continue to grow as we work with Sailability to offer more opportunities to get our athletes out on the water and sailing with pride, smiles and most of all improving health and skills.



All people with an intellectual disability are welcome to participate. It doesn't matter whether they want to have fun in their local community or aspire to compete in international competition. We cater for all needs.

Through our quality sports program, athletes train and compete with people of similar ability and are supported by accredited coaches familiar with their needs.

On a national level we offer fourteen official sports, One of which is sailing.

Last April 900 athletes competed at our IX National Special Olympics Australia Games, it was an amazing games especially the sailing. One of our best stories that came out of the games is below.


Ben Walter - Sailing inspires my whole team by Roger Christie.

Young South Australian prodigy Ben Walter is a little unique in sailing circles. In his coach's words, Ben is the inspiration for the entire South Australian team - no mean feat for an eleven year old. Having faced numerous challenges in his life thus far, sailing is the one time where Ben is in his element and he couldn't be more excited about sailing being involved in the National Games for the first ever time.

However, while many of the athletes are feeling their way and sussing out the competition, Ben has only one thing on his mind - overtaking his unified partner and father, Shane, in the family trophy tally. 'Dad reckons I'll beat his tally these Games. We're five-all at the moment after I won the State Championship so now's my chance!' Ben said. 'I'm not even sure why I allowed him to compete,' his father Shane quickly and regrettably replies.

Though it is all fun and games for the father-son combination and Shane's clearly proud of his son's accomplishments in six years of sailing. Asked whether he feels they have an unfair advantage given their intimate understanding of one another, Shane simply smiles and says, 'Some people might say we have an unfair advantage.'

Ben's coach, John Johnson, has been sailing for 40 years, including 12 years in the Sailability program, and is particularly proud of the team he's established for their first National Games. While they have set themselves high expectations, John is simply content with the fact that the team is here and ready to go. In his eyes, the program has been an amazing success already and it's only early stages. 'I saw the advantages and the pleasure that athletes were getting out of competition and they were all getting a hell of a lot more out than we were putting in. The grins are literally from ear to ear,' John said.

John is the President of Sailability in South Australia and a member of the National Board and has seen some wonderful transformations. 'We've welcomed in people who used to be scared of water and now they are confident enough to hop in and take charge.'

And, for the record, Ben and Shane claimed a third placing in the second of the day's races and are looking forward to further success over the next few days and who knows might one day even sail for Australia!

To all our sailing fans and friends, please dig deep and ensure our Eight (8) very excited and lucky Aussie sailability athletes can represent Australia at the upcoming June 2011 Special Olympics World Games in Athens, Greece.

We need to raise $80,000 AUS dollars by 31st May 2011 to get them to the games so they can sail and achieve their PERSONAL BEST. Please help them and make a tax deductible donation on our website. All donations can be made to Team Australia at www.specialolympics.com.au or phone 02 8116 9833.






Wildwind 2016 660x82Schaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82Naiad/Oracle Supplier

Related Articles

2016 VR Sport.TV International 14 World Championships – Day 4
Day four at the VRsport.tv International 14 Championships was a world away from the carnage of day three. Day four at the VRsport.tv International 14 Championships was a world away from the carnage of day three. The sun was high in the sky, there was a fresh breeze out in the bay, and the atmosphere at Carnac Yacht Club reflected the conditions.
Posted today at 2:52 am
VRsport.tv International Moth UK Nationals at the WPNSA - Day 3
Monday saw another delay in the morning, but this time due to a lack of wind. Monday saw another delay in the morning, but this time due to a lack of wind. Signs were promising though with a clear sky out to sea, the wind switching to the South West, and clouds building over the land.
Posted today at 2:00 am
Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
2016 VR Sport.TV International 14 World Championships – Day 3
Boats were quickly rigged, and rigorously checked for any signs of wear which could lead to a breakage. The Carnac Yacht Club was filled with a sense of purpose this morning. Boats were quickly rigged, and rigorously checked for any signs of wear which could lead to a breakage. Whilst all this was going on, whitecaps were beginning to develop across the bay, and the conditions were shaping up for what would later be referred to by Andrew Perry as a “big boys day”.
Posted on 29 Aug
2016 VR Sport.TV International 14 World Championships – Day 2
It was a day of two halves here at the VRsport.tv International 14 World Championship 2016 in Carnac. 2016 VRsport.tv International 14 World Championship - It was a day of two halves here at the VRsport.tv International 14 World Championship 2016 in Carnac.
Posted on 28 Aug
VRsport.tv International Moth UK Nationals at the WPNSA - Day 1
73 boats have signed on for the 2016 VRsport.tv International Moth UK Nationals at the WPNSA in Weymouth. Seventy-three boats have signed on for the 2016 VRsport.tv International Moth UK Nationals at the WPNSA in Weymouth. With the odd lightning strike off Chesil Beach and a huge storm over Dorchester, the fleet were released to leave the shore once it was deemed safe enough to sail in Portland Harbour, with racing getting underway just 20 minutes after the scheduled 1pm start time.
Posted on 27 Aug
2016 VR Sport.TV International 14 World Championships – Day 1
The Day 1 of VR Sport.TV Intl 14 Worlds was a demonstration of why this is most popular development classes in the world 2016 VR Sport.TV International 14 World Championship - The first day of the 2016 VR Sport.TV International 14 World Championship was a demonstration of why this is one of the most popular development classes in the world. Just under eighty boats are registered and with strong contingents from across the globe including Australia, USA, Germany and the UK.
Posted on 27 Aug
2016 Sail Canada Senior Championships - Day 4
After not sailing on Sunday due to heavy winds, sailors returned to the water today at Sail Canada Senior Championships 2016 Sail Canada Senior Championships - After not sailing on Sunday due to heavy winds, sailors returned to the water today at the Sail Canada Senior Championships at Cork OCR. Today’s conditions were ideal, with a breeze of 18-19 knots from the southwest, and sunny skies.
Posted on 23 Aug
2016 U.S. Team Racing Championship – Final report
Team Trouble saved their best for Sunday’s knockout rounds and rallied to win the historic George R. Hinman Trophy 2016 U.S. Team Racing Championship - Team Trouble, comprised of Charles Higgins (Norfold, Va.), Johnny Norfleet (New York, NY), Isabel Strachan (Annapolis, Md.), Matt Allen (Hamilton, Mass.). Gabriel Smith (Annapolis, Md.) and Arielle Darrow, saved their best for Sunday’s knockout rounds and rallied to win the historic George R. Hinman Trophy at the 2016 U.S. Team Racing Championship, hosted by Sa
Posted on 23 Aug
2016 Samson North American Championship - Day 5 - Final day of racing
The forecast was dismal for racing, but the PRO Hank Stuart and the Race Committee showed great patience. 2016 Samson North American Championship - The forecast was dismal for racing, but the PRO Hank Stuart and the Race Committee at the Rochester Yacht Club showed great patience. The fleet went out in a light breeze and were held in postponement for about an hour.
Posted on 22 Aug