“Sailability offers the community of Antigua and Barbuda who are differently abled the opportunity for social activity and to be part of an inclusive society through sailing”
To offer the people of Antigua and Barbuda regardless of their age, mental or physical disability an opportunity to enter a world filled with new sensory and physical experiences and inclusivity through sailing. A most relaxing and enjoyable experience that offers social interaction and a much needed day out. An opportunity to achieve the unimaginable. All given freely.
The Current position
In 2014 two Challenger trimarans where imported from the UK. Sailability join the National Sailing Academy in English Harbour.
Currently we have 85 participants each week. They come mainly from the Adele School, the Victory Centre, the National Vocational Centre and the Care Project. Currently we have five trained and experienced Antiguan instructors. We now have a fleet of 7 sailing dinghies that are of a universal design recognised as vessels for those differently abled. We have a specially designed 100,000 EC dock - with hoist – given to us by the Jumby Bay Fund. We have just taken delivery of a new Mini Bus with two wheel chair access. Again sponsored by the same Fund. Within the Caribbean Basin we are unique with our set up and are a centre of excellence.
In February 2019 we hosted a conference dedicated to extending the ideals of making sailing an inclusive sport within this Basin. Most importantly we are the only organisation offering recreational activity for disabled people in Antigua. Our Patron is The Governor General His Excellency Sir Rodney Williams. Also we have the active support of the Antigua and Barbuda Government through the Honourable Prime Minister Gaston Browne. We are a registered charity.
All our users come from organisations in St Johns. We need therefore to reach out into the communities of Antigua. We aim – now we have our own purpose built Mini bus – to go into these communities and identify those that would like to come sailing. We will develop – with in association with other organisations – a register of disabled people. The WHO estimates that there are in the region of 12,000 people with a disability of one form or another on the island. We have the experience and the facilities handle just about any type of disability.
Funding is an ongoing problem as we need 50.000EC. annually to run our program. We need support from the community of Antigua to raise this money therefore we must raise Corporate and public awareness of the benefits that Sailabity offers those differently abled. A collective community responsibility.. Our ambition is to run a fully inclusive Regatta. This would be a first in this region and for that matter in many countries.
As our numbers increase so will the demand for more wages to pay our Antiguan instructors. For the last 5 years our major event has been our “Sailability Super Sunday”. It has grown into a major event with the 2020 walk attracting approaching 500 people attending throughout the day. This day returns approximately 25,000EC. There are over 50 businesses that support this event.
We have been receiving a donation of 5,000EC from the Wishing Well Foundation. It is clear that we must find more sponsorship to maintain what we have and to support our ambitions to further help those differently abled in these two islands.
Is there any way your company can support this great charity and in doing so support those differently abled on these two islands?
Thank you for taking time to read this. I would be very pleased to come and have a chat with you about Sailability Antigua.
Bob Bailey Director of Sailability Antigua
Tel: 01268 783 8553 Email: Bob6191@hotmail.com