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Sailing program launched

31 Mar 2016

Sailing program launched Image

A new program launched in Docklands last month aims to give disabled and disadvantaged children the chance to experience sailing.

Sailors with Disabilities (SWD) launched its Winds of Joy program in Docklands on March 22, with a group of children from Vermont South Special School taking a trip onboard the specially modified yacht Ninety Seven.

The Farr 47 yacht, which took line honours in the 1993 Sydney to Hobart Yacht race, has been modified to accommodate people in wheelchairs.

According to SWD founder David Pescud, the boat is moored at NewQuay but will leave on its journeys from the wharf near the Boating Hub at the Dock.

SWD was founded in Sydney and has recently expanded to Melbourne. Its Melbourne patron, Bryan Dorman, said expanding the work of SWD in Sydney was vital to the Melbourne program.

“The opportunity for children with disabilities, in wheelchairs, to sail on a yacht in Melbourne hasn’t happened before. We really want the children, young people, schools and families in Melbourne to enjoy it,” Mr Dorman said.

“We delight in the absolute pleasure that children get from the experience, the excitement looking forward and the memories they make during the experience.”

“We aim to develop the programs so that the boat gets more use. We have 32 days of the year programmed but we would like to expand that so whether economically, culturally, physically or socially disadvantaged, children have a chance to experience inclusion through sailing.”

Mr Dorman said the organisation was seeking financial support to ensure the long-term viability of the program, along with volunteers to assist.

For more information visit http://www.sailorswithdisabilities.com/melbourne-sailors-disabilities

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