Sailing past the barriers

The North Coast Academy of Sport (NCAS) and Ballina Sailability are joining forces to run a series of inter-school sailing challenges with the aim of increasing student awareness of respect and responsibility for people with disabilities.

Sailability is a worldwide non-profit, volunteer-based organisation which, through the activity of sailing, enriches the lives of people with any type of disability, including the elderly, financially and or socially disadvantaged. Ballina Sailability has been regularly sailing at Lake Ainsworth since it was established in 1991.

Alstonville High School, Ballina High School, Emmanuel Anglican College, Southern Cross High School and Xavier Catholic College will each have two year 11 students who will learn to sail by crewing up with a Sailability member. This will be followed by a series of fun and competitive regattas at Lake Ainsworth over three weekends from now until early December.

NCAS has developed the Sailability Challenge in response to NSW Sport and Recreations Respect and Responsibility initiative which aims to develop meaningful projects that help build stronger communities through sport, said NCAS executive director, Tony Clarke. While we are seeing people with disabilities being more openly accepted within the community, especially within schools, projects such as this will help create another way of breaking down barriers between able and less-able sportspeople. Its a great way for Ballina to celebrate the diversity and caring spirit of our community.

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