The Paralympic Pathway

ParaPathway (4 of 10)

We were delighted to host a Royal Yachting Association Northern Ireland run, SportNI sponsored weekend training camp at Carrickfergus Marina and Harbour on 23 & 24 January for coach/ volunteer training towards The Paralympic Pathway. Representatives from Foyle Sailability and Sailability Ireland were in attendance together with sailors from as far south and west as Kinsale and Galway, and north to Lough Foyle – all joining a group of our own sailors and instructors.

The weekend was led by RYANI Performance Coach, Richard Honeyford and RYA Podium Potential Coach and Disabled Racing Development Manager, Matt Grier, with support from Irish Sailing Association Regional Development/ Sailability Officer, Ciarán Murphy.

The participants were given two days of introduction to Disabled Racing and the Paralympic Classes.  Topics covered included Classification, the 2.4-Metre Class and its specifics, Communications and writing a Race Training Programme.

The excellent facilities of Carrickfergus Marina and Harbour gave the participants the chance to try out 2.4-Metre Paralympic class single-handed boats in testing conditions, and an opportunity to enjoy the comfortable and fully accessible surroundings of the Marina Conference Suite for discussion on the various topics surrounding the event.

With the help of RYANI and funds from SportNI, a programme will be put in place for 2016 to help start the process of identifying potential disabled racers to take part in race training and competitions in NI, Ireland and overseas.

The ultimate goal is competition at the Paralympic sailing events.  This is the first step!

BLS ParaPathway 1 by Nigel Thompson

Classroom session at Carrickfergus Marina Conference Suite. (Pic: Nigel Thompson)


BLS ParaPathway 3 by Nigel Thompson

Boat preparation at Carrickfergus Marina “Oppy Pontoon”. (Pic: Nigel Thompson)


BLS ParaPathway 10 by Nigel Thompson

Choppy seas for PEG out on Belfast Lough. (Pic: Nigel Thompson)