The Wynyard Yacht Club (WYC), located on the north-west coast of Tasmania, has taken a new inclusion pathway that is helping to change the image of yachting as exclusive. With support from COINS Foundation, two more boats have been added to the club’s fleet of Access 303s – boats specifically designed for people with a disability.
WYC Commodore Neal Rodwell and COINS Group Chairman Larry Sullivan share a passionate interest in disability support, particularly the promotion of inclusion. Neal explains, “A couple of years ago Larry took me to Frensham Pond in Surrey where I saw Sailability in action. I decided that our local club should move in that direction to help people with long term illnesses, disabilities or mobility issues enjoy ‘freedom on the water’, hence the journey and astonishing results for WYC.”
COINS, OASIS and Total Objects have been supporting Sailability at Frensham Ponds for over 10 years. The boats we have supplied enable children to sail with and steer with one hand. Most of the children from Stepping Stones are now able to sail. We are delighted to now support Australia's Yacht Club of the Year with two similar vessels.”Larry Sullivan, Chair of COINS Global
The WYC is an accredited Discover Sailing Centre which teaches adults, children and those with disabilities to sail. It also supports the local community, mentoring youth and offering free equipment and building to community groups in the area.
WYC received the Community Club Award at the inaugural AIS Sport Performance Awards (ASPAs), held in February in Melbourne. This comes on top of winning Club of the Year Award at the 2014 Yachting Australia Awards.
After the ASPAs, Yachting Australia President Matt Allen praised the Wynyard Yacht Club saying, “The contribution and achievements of the Club are outstanding. Not only have they increased the profile of their Club and the number of participants sailing in their area, they have created strong bonds in the community through their work with many local groups and created a Club where all people can come together and enjoy themselves, on and off the water. We send our heartfelt congratulations to the Club and everyone involved.”