Sailors with Disabilities program sets sail from Melbourne City Marina

Sailors with Disabilities program sets sail from Melbourne City Marina

Australian not-for-profit organisation Sailors with disABILITIES, have been using Melbourne City Marina as a layup berth for their ‘Winds of Joy’ sailing program vessel.

The organisation offers life-changing sailing opportunities to young children, youth and adults with disabilities in order to drive a more optimistic outlook and enhance personal growth.

The charity uses sailing as a tool to build confidence, self-esteem and new relationships. Through positive role models, the sailing program demonstrates that people with a disability do not have to be confined by it. Participants have the opportunity to gain a hands-on experience of sailing, many developing skills that they may have never had the opportunity to before.

Launching from a complimentary berth provided by the City of Melbourne at Melbourne City Marina, the ‘ican’ branded vessel picks up two school groups outside Library at the Dock in Victoria Harbour.

Participants set sail, enjoying brief views of the iconic Melbourne Star and the Marvel Stadium before navigating past the home of the heritage fleet at North Wharf and into Port Philip Bay. For roughly two hours, the program participants get a taste of operating a boat within one of Victoria’s most popular recreational destinations and near Australia’s busiest port. The boat can accommodate up to 15 passengers, three wheelchairs and six members of crew.

The program has been running in Melbourne regularly for the past four years with a second operating in Sydney. Once a year, a Winds of Joy outreach program is held in five locations; Newcastle, Coffs Harbour, Southport, Rosslyn Bay and Mackay.

You can learn more about Sailors with disABILITIES by watching this inspiring three minute video created by a program volunteer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPuEU77Edx4&list=PLlZ6a9dMqMQ5FeKqy_n-7KW1o4yX4ySB9&index=5&t=0s&fbclid=IwAR3FlAZA2gbGIehnkGO0pZMVvZl5WX23qHYGIA5B9wS6GoG05Hihx1_Md3s

Sailors with disABILITIES offer their Winds of Joy program to schools and community groups for free, relying on donations and volunteers to make their work possible. If you would like to donate to this registered charity, or if you’re interested in getting involved visit: sailorswithdisabilities.com

For more information about Melbourne City Marina, visit: http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/waterways