Another roaring success for the annual Watersports Inclusion Games, which saw 200 people take to the water in Galway over the weekend (25 and 26 August). The event invites participants with all abilities on the physical, sensory, intellectual and learning difficulty spectrums to get out and enjoy the water.

The two-day event featured a ton of superb introductory activities for those new to watersports at the Commercial Boat Club, with everything from sailing, rowing, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding and fast-boat rides.

The main event was the competitive sailing race that took place in Galway Bay with more experienced sailors including Kinsale YC’s Gina Griffin, World Sailing 2.4 Parasailing silver medallist competing in the Hansa Nationals.

Watersports Inclusion Games 2018
Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

“This is the second year of the Games, and we were delighted to welcome all of the participants from the four corners of Ireland. We are already starting to plan for next year’s Games in Cork when we hope to reach even more people from all abilities and encourage them to take up watersports,” said Harry Hermon, CEO of Irish Sailing.

Over 100 incredible volunteers donated their time and expertise to make the event a special one, with one volunteer and a mother to one of the participants commenting, “It was a pleasure and a privilege to witness the fabulous sailing skills, can-do attitude and camaraderie on display on the water yesterday.” Another parent adding, “Just reflecting here on the weekend and I can’t help but smile when I think about it and I will for some time to come….Thank you doesn’t do it justice but thank you!”

The Games are organised by Irish Sailing, in partnership with Canoeing Ireland, Rowing Ireland, Spinal Injuries Ireland, Galway Bay Sailing Club Sailability, Galway Sports Partnership, Wet Mongrel Adventures and Waterabilities. It is funded by the Sport Ireland Dormant Accounts Sports Inclusion Fund.

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By Orla O'Muiri

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