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Report by Paul Carroll:
Friday 23rd of June saw the start of the 2023 Watersports Inclusion Games in Wexford. The IrWWF were yet again invited to participate and demonstrate the Inclusive nature of our Sport.
On Friday afternoon The Team landed, led by Cormac Collins our Disability Officer, ably assisted by Brid Deegan, Aisling Deegan, Andy McQuiggan, and Paul Carroll. For 2023 we were very generously given the use of a Super Air Nautique by Thomas & Kieran McGuinness from Wexford, who not only gave us their Boat but fuelled it and provided Jetty Access via a pontoon, staging area, and changing rooms and shelter. They stayed with us all weekend and Kieran’s son Killian also assisted us in the boat and on land. Without people like the Mc Guinness Family, we would have been in difficulties and we need to recognise how much they put themselves out to facilitate us.
Friday was set up and familiarisation day, getting to know the site, the river / bay, and the hazards. Friday evening was the Official Briefing hosted in Wexford Harbour Sailing and Tennis Club and chaired by Johanna from Sailing Ireland the event hosts.
Due to the nature of our requirements, we were off site from the main event and out participants were ferried to us by minibus.
Saturday morning kicked off in beautiful sunshine and calm waters, there were a variety of participants from able bodied to people with various disabilities, and we embraced all who arrived and catered for their requirements. There was an excellent success rate over both Saturday and Sunday with us gathering 27 participants over the two days of events.
We attracted quite a bit of press interest, and many photos were taken, we were also joined on Saturday by Dr. Una May, CEO of Sport Ireland who was treated to a Triple Bar Demonstration by Andy, Cormac, and Aisling. We demonstrated to Dr, May how the IrWWF were committed to Inclusion and how we could cater for and adapt to most disabilities. DR May was impressed to say the least and left with a much greater understanding of the IrWWf and what we do.
Sunday was a copy of Saturday, unfortunately for our last few participants, the Event Safety Team had to call a halt mid-afternoon due to strong winds and thunderstorms.
Overall, the event went off brilliantly, with the help from our Local Team of Killian, Kieran and Thomas, our IrWWF Core Team of Cormac, Brid, Aisling, Andy and Paul, it was a resounding success.
We have committed to 2024 inclusion Games. These are scheduled for Ramor Sailing Club, Virginia, Co. Cavan. So, watch this space.