Posted: Sat, 09 Mar 2019 12:23
Rutland Sailability's incredible 2018 has been recognised with the national RYA Sailability Team of Year Award.
Last year was another memorable one in Rutland Sailability creating opportunities for disabled people to get afloat, develop sailing skills, go racing, and most importantly, regularly meet up. They were presented with their award at the 2019 RYA Sailability National Conference and Awards dinner at Wyboston Lakes, Bedfordshire.
In October, 10 British sailors attended the Hansa class World Championships in Japan, with Rutland, led by Pauline Harrison, putting a huge amount of effort into getting the team, including Rutland trio Val Milward, Diane Faulks and Pat Crowley, to the event. Rutland also hosted the popular RYA Sailability Multiclass Regatta for the 11th year running, whilst acting as a training venue for the UK Team Invictus Games sailors too.
Rutland Sailability runs weekly Thursday and Saturday sessions for disabled sailors, with a high of almost 160 sailors taking to water in the month of August. One of these was Millie Moody, who is a Deafblind sailor. She explains what she has achieved thanks to Rutland Sailability.
Millie said: "I have quite complex disabilities and so wasn't sure how far I would be able to go. Being Deafblind means there are often huge barriers to learning new skills. Fortunately, none of the volunteers saw my disabilities as barriers and they all adapted their teaching methods around me, for which I am extremely grateful.
"My Mum was very nervous, but is beyond proud of my achievements. It's very difficult to explain how much I have benefited and grown. My confidence and self-esteem have grown, I have developed a passion for sailing and hope to continue to take this as far as I am able."
With sailing providing a level playing field for disabled people to compete, the team and sailors at Rutland take full advantage with a number of Sailability sailors frequently taking part in Rutland Sailing Club's weekend club racing, as well as being familiar faces on the popular SailJuice series circuit, joining hundreds of dinghy sailors from all over the UK at various venues enjoying a weekend of racing and socialising.
Jonathan Schofield, Rutland Sailability Chief Instructor, added: "Rutland Sailability has continued to grow from a small nucleus of people to a much larger organisation over the years, leading to the need for structural change. Successful teams in large organisations don't just happen, they are the result of hard work and dedication over an extended period of time.
"Receiving the RYA Sailability Team of the Year Award puts the icing on the cake, acknowledging the efforts of all who have helped to create the many teams within the whole Rutland Sailability team that drives the overall sailing experience."
Seven different RYA Sailability awards were presented at the dinner, recognising individuals and organisations whose dedication, contribution and commitment have had a real impact. To discover how RYA Sailability is #morethansailing visit www.rya.org.uk/sailability and for more information about Rutland Sailability visit www.rutlandsailability.org.uk