Paralympic News

01/03/2015
A charity that provides sailing for people with disabilities in Suffolk has shared its disappointment at the sport being dropped from the 2020 Paralympic Games.
The East Anglian Sailing Trust (EAST) is backing an appeal against the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) decision to remove it from the programme in Tokyo.
Along with seven-a-side football, sailing was left off the list of 22 sports announced for the Games at a meeting in Abu Dhabi at the end of last month.
EAST, which is based at Levington on the River Orwell, has now shown its support for the Royal Yachting Association’s (RYA) plan to contest the decision.
EAST Vice President Kevin Curtis won a gold medal for Great Britain at the Atlanta Games in 1996. He said: ‘This is a great shame after it took many years to get sailing demonstrated and accepted in the Paralympic Games. The number of classes of craft has increased to include mixed disabilities. Sailing is one of the truly integrated sports where all can race on equal terms.’
EAST Chairman Geoff Dreyer added: ‘It will be a real pity if Paralympic sailing for people with disabilities ends after next year’s games at Rio.’
EAST is an established RYA Sailability ‘Centre of Excellence’ which offers a variety of sailing experience for disabled and visually impaired adults and children.
This year, for the first time, the charity will run nine days of taster sessions to enable disabled adults, children and their carers to experience tidal sailing in its fleets of squib, sonar and yeoman stable keelboats, skippered by EAST volunteers.
During May, EAST’s cruising section will provide ‘Push the Boat Out’ sessions for blind and visually impaired adults on a fleet of modern yachts fitted with talking compasses and other instrumentation.
Regular sailing for disabled adults takes place from April through to October, with sessions for youth groups and younger sailors with disabilities most weeks on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
All sessions start from the EAST Waterside Community Centre at Suffolk Yacht Harbour.