Sailors with disABILITIES is launching its first Winds of Joy program in Hobart on Monday 15th of February, expanding its national outreach program to Tasmania. Running for two weeks until February 26, Winds of Joy, Hobart, will give young people with disability in Tasmania the opportunity to experience the joy of sailing in a session sailing on board Kayle, a yacht designed especially for people with disabilities, able to accommodate up to five wheelchairs at a time.
Eight schools in Hobart—over 250 children—will join SWD's national program and sail in 20 Winds of Joy sessions over the two week pilot program.
SWD will enjoy the hospitality of Derwent Sailing Squadron who have generously hosted Kayle since the finish of the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and will continue to do so for the duration of the Winds of Joy program in Hobart.
Founder of SWD, David Pescud, said, “The initiative of Tim Oxley, last year, inviting SWD to present at The Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart started us thinking about extending our outreach programs to Hobart. With the warmth and support we’ve received since then, we’re already planning another outreach program for children with disability in Hobart in 2017.”
Sailing in and around the Derwent River for children’s programs will be a highlight for everyone involved with SWD.
SWD’s sailing programs are run exclusively by SWD crew volunteers, many of whom are NSW-based volunteers traveling to Hobart for the program, as well as new Tasmanian volunteers who will join SWD for the first time in Hobart. As such, the team of SWD volunteers and staff met today in Hobart for volunteer orientation in preparation for the start of Winds of Joy in Hobart.
For many of the children, Winds of Joy will be the first step on a journey of change in which disabilities will be left onshore and new horizons will open over the course of a few hours, as the children witness each others’ success on deck and observe SWD volunteers crewing the boat and join in.
By the time they dock again in Sandy Bay, they will realise they can experience freedom on the water, defined only by what they can do and their imagination.