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A new Sailability yacht funded by the Foundation means more people can enjoy the experience of sailing for therapy or recreation.

Thursday, 26 October, 2017

People with a disability in Lake Macquarie and the Hunter can experience the joy of sailing with a new accessible yacht at Sailability Toronto.

Sailability NSW received a $14,970 grant from the Foundation to purchase and equip the specially-designed yacht, which is fitted with joystick controls to operate the steering and sailing management systems. The new sailing boat makes sailing accessible for more people, regardless of their age or disability, for therapy and recreation.

Foundation Chair Phil Neat said organisations like Sailability enriched the lives of those who may not otherwise have access to these activities.

"Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation is proud to support volunteer-run Sailability to fund a program that offers more people the opportunity to enjoy recreational and therapeutic activities on our spectacular Lake Macquarie," Mr Neat said. 

"We’ve supported Sailability throughout regional NSW and we’ve seen first-hand the positive effects the sailing programs and the dedicated volunteers have on people who participate."

A new yacht specially designed for people with a disability being sailed

MARYANNA, Sailability Toronto

The Foundation has been very generous in giving us the grant for this particular boat. 

It’s enabled us to purchase a second servo-assist boat, which are more expensive than the ordinary 303s. 

It gives Toronto Sailability the capacity to put people with more severe disabilities out on the water and enjoying sailing.

PHIL NEAT, Foundation Chair

We’ve had a long history with Sailability, which goes back to 2005. 

One of the things that’s always stood out to us is that they are driven by volunteers. 

And there’s nothing better than support organisations that have got so much energy, so much passion for what they do, to assist people with a disability.

And Sailability does all of those things. 

The total amount of money that we’ve provided Sailability, at Belmont, Port Macquarie, Great Lakes, and today with the new boat here at Toronto, amounts to $147,000. 

But what we’ve put in to this new boat is $15,000.

MARYANNA, Sailability Toronto

Oh, it’s lovely. It’s a lovely feeling. 

And it’s even better if you’re in a race and you’ve got daylight between yourself and everybody behind you.

That’s the really great feeling.

But it is a beautiful sport.

Sailability NSW President John Price said the grant from the Charitable Foundation contributed greatly to the functioning and continuation of the program.

"The grant provided us with a piece of critical equipment we need to offer sailing opportunities to people with limited mobility or disabilities," Mr Price said.  

"With this new yacht and its modifications, people who thought independent sailing wasn’t possible now have the opportunity to participate without barriers or limitations."

Sailability NSW’s Toronto branch was established in 2008 to make a safe and enjoyable sailing experience available to people with a disability in the Lake Macquaire and Hunter region. 

Sailability NSW is a not-for-profit volunteer-based organisation funded by donations, membership, fundraising and grants.

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