«

»

Dec 02

All Abilities Sailing at BYS

A personal story from a CLA Member and Volunteer about the All Abilities Sailing Program at Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron.

We’ve moved from Melbourne to live in Rye since late 2017 and loving it. My adult son, Jamie especially shown his enthusiasm and happiness since being here. Apart from everything else, attending the Sailability Blairgowrie has definitely been a highlight for him (and me).

It was a glorious sunny Boxing day (2017) when Jamie started with Sailability. I was an anxious mother worrying about so many things as Jamie is diagnosed with autism and is non verbal. But all my anxieties were washed away once I met the wonderful Sailability team.

First we were greeted by the beaming smile of Brian, who is the founder. Brian was very warm, welcoming and informative which helped to settle my nerves.

Then we met Lindsay, who was the volunteer assigned to take Jamie out on the boat. I thought I’d better be upfront with Lindsay just so we won’t get any unwanted surprises. I was very nervous but tried to sound all cool and said to Lindsay:

“So Lindsay, just so you know Jamie is autistic and non-verbal, are you OK with that?” he appeared to be unphased and just shrugged his shoulders as if saying “ok, whatever”.

Brian and Jamie - Sailability Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron

Brian and Jamie – Sailability Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron

Brian and Jamie – Sailability Blairgowrie Yacht SquadronBrian, Christina and Jamie – Sailability Blairgowrie Yacht SquadronBrian, Jamie and Christina – Sailability Blairgowrie Yacht SquadronI added “So, just say if for some reasons, not that I think it will happen, Jamie decides to get off the boat while you’re out there, what would you do Lindsay?”, again Lindsay appeared to be totally cool about it all. And I think being cool is contagious – plus I thought what’s the worst that can happen, Jamie and I both can dog paddle, and the potential embarrassing or mortifying scene is nothing new in our lives, thanks to Jamie – so I myself ignored my anxieties and said to Lindsay “OK! am sure you know what you’re doing, have fun out there and thanks for doing this!”.

And off they went. I followed them by foot to capture the moment on camera and true to Lindsay’s words, everything went swimmingly.

 

At the end, Jamie got off the boat smiling.

I was rapt of course as it’s difficult to find activities within the community that Jamie could engage in and be happy with.

Fortunately, that wasn’t a one-off. Jamie has been sailing on a weekly basis since then and he always has a beaming smile every time he goes sailing (huge bonus point for anxiety-ridden mums).

I have to say, it’s not just Jamie that gets so much out of Sailiablity Blairgowrie, I do too. I’ve had some wonderful and informative conversations with Brian about what touches my heart on a daily basis: disability, and the aspiration to make it better for the people in it. I’ve also enjoyed some belly laughs with some of the volunteers. They are such amazingly dedicated people. Without them and their understanding I don’t think this program could have given us the enjoyment we experienced and hoping to experience in time to come.

Thank you Brian and The Team!

Linh Le

Brian and Jamie - Sailability Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron

Brian and Jamie – Sailability Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron

Brian, Christina and Jamie - Sailability Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron

Brian, Christina and Jamie – Sailability Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron

Brian, Jamie and Christina - Sailability Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron

Brian, Jamie and Christina – Sailability Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron

If you would like to share a story please email us at events@communitylifestyleaccommodation.org.au.


If you are interested in trying sailing please contact Brian Jones on 0466 273 874 or brianjones0305@gmail.com or visit http://www.bys.asn.au/sail-training/sailability/

Click here for the Try Sailability Blairgowrie PDF flyer.

They sail each Tuesday, weather permitting, catering for groups and for some individuals who wish to come on Tuesdays. They also have opportunities at advertised weekends and in holiday periods.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.