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SANDERSTEAD SAILOR LANDS SENIOR DISABILITY SAILING ROLE

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A Sanderstead sailor has been charged with helping British sailing capitalise on the post-Paralympic buzz and getting more disabled people out on the water in the South East.
Wealden Sailability volunteer, Fleur Bryant, 30, has been appointed RYA's Sailability Regional Organiser for the South East, meaning she will work with target Sailability sites across the region in opening up even more opportunities for local people with disabilities to learn to sail and sail regularly. This includes co-ordinating activity between Sailability clubs and local special schools and youth and community groups.  

RYA Sailability is the national programme, run by British sailing's national governing body, which encourages and supports people with disabilities to take up the sport and helps clubs to develop facilities to deal with a wide and diverse range of abilities. 
Sailing is one of the few sports in which able-bodied sailors and disabled sailors can participate on equal terms, and Fleur is no stranger to working with Sailability, with her father, Brian Stanley, having originally set up the Wealden Sailability - previously Bough Beech Sailability - group, which is now based at Chipstead Sailing Club. 
Working full-time limited Fleur's ability to volunteer regularly but after going on maternity leave in June 2012 she has become more and more hands-on at Wealden Sailability. Now she is relishing the prospect of helping to bring more involvement in sailing throughout the rest of the region.
Fleur said:"The whole ethos of Sailability focuses on the acceptance that everyone is different and it's what each individual can do, not what they can't, that can be nurtured into a lifelong involvement in sailing. 
"Sailability becomes addictive as the benefit and enjoyment the sailors get is so clear for everyone to see, not to mention the enjoyment we all get as volunteers making that happen for them.
"There hasn't been a South East Regional Organiser for a while and I'm hoping I can move the region forwards. There has been tremendous success so far but I think we can go further. 
"I also want to focus on Youth disabled sailing as I believe there is a wealth of experience and enjoyment to be gained by kids with a disability being included within Youth sailing sessions. I hope by promoting inclusivity at all sailing clubs that it becomes the norm to see a wheelchair user, a blind or deaf child etc integrated into training groups alongside able-bodied children." 
One of the most recent success stories at Wealden Sailability is the group's new racing initiative that sees sailors racing every other Thursday lunchtime, which Fleur is heavily involved with. Fleur also helped prepared the Wealden entrants for the recent Access Class Association Traveller Trophy event held at Chipstead SC.
She added: "Sailing has the ability to level the playing field so much that it doesn't matter what your abilities are, everyone can race against each other. It's also been great to see the competitive spirit of the sailors and even better to hear they are having a post-race analysis afterwards! The sessions are becoming more and more popular and we're all really excited to see how it will all evolve."
For more information about RYA Sailability visit www.rya.org.uk/programmes/ryasailability or contact the Sailability team directly on 0844 556 9550 or at sailability@rya.org.uk  

SANDERSTEAD SAILOR LANDS SENIOR DISABILITY SAILING ROLE


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