Cork’s Watersports Inclusion Day 2023: A vibrant atmosphere, smiles all round and warm sunshine!
The ever-popular watersports event for people with disabilities took to the Kinsale shores once again on April 21st. Over 100 people participated across the 4 activities available on the day. The aim of the event was to kick off the outdoor activity season by showcasing a range of inclusive watersports that are available to children, young people and adults with additional needs and their families.
Speaking at the event, Cliona Horan Sports Inclusion Disability Officer, with Cork Sports Partnership highlighted, ‘The event is in its 3rd year now and always sells out because people look forward to it so much. It is fantastic to see so many families, of all abilities together on the water. It is clear to see that Kinsale as a community have a huge amount to offer and are leaders in supporting people of all abilities to enjoy water sports.’
The activities on offer across the day included Surfing with Surf 2 Heal in Garretstown Beach, Sailing along the Kinsale Harbour with Sailing into Wellness and Sail Ability Kinsale, Kayaking at the Pier in Kinsale with Kinsale OEC and Trips on ‘Saoirse’ The Inclusion Powerboat with Kinsale OEC. All these activities were delivered by a team of volunteers and tailored to support the needs and abilities of the families taking part. Robert Carroll, assistant manager of the Kinsale OEC, said, “We love helping to facilitate this inclusive event, both new and returning participants enjoyed the vibrant atmosphere and warm sunshine. We are hoping to meet many of them again in a couple of months when we begin or summer inclusion programme.” Tessa Kingston, coordinator of Surf2heal Garretstown, added that they, “love getting new families out and watching the big smiles as they ride the waves and make new friends!”
Cork Watersports Inclusion Day 2023 marks the beginning of the summer season of water based activities for people with disabilities.It focuses on inspiring the public to live a healthy lifestyle while highlighting the numerous options that exist in Ireland to Kinsale. Donal Hickey, of Sailability Kinsale hoped that these activities inspired families to be active on the water stating that he was, “looking forward to launching this year’s sailability programme, which starts next weekend and regularly caters for about 70 people. Numbers may grow this year after today’s event, as I know it was a positive experience for many families.
Families at the event stated:
‘An epic day from start to finish’
‘As a family we had the time of our lives, we are smiling from ear to ear all the way home!”