Acknowledgement to Derek Lee and the disabled.sailing.forum@smartgroups.com

These are all extracts from letters by James Stevens and Hugh Whatley of RYA Training Division to Hugh de las Casas and Julian Mandiwal which were actually sent prior to the conference. (The DELIVERING SAILING TO DISABLED PEOPLE conference October 2004)I was hoping that we would get an 'official' statement on policy from the speakers at the event (even requesting this from the floor at the start of the conference) but it would be asking too much for them to publicly criticise their colleagues in RYAS. That is the reason I have not been able to publish anything from them. They are all aware however that the extracts from their correspondence is in the public domain.

I thought that I would publish these extracts in any case, which has seemed to have had a beneficial influence straight away. I also wanted to get this in first so the statement which is to be included in RYA Instructors News should reflect it generally. It may be better to wait until the statement in Instructors news is published as this is going out to all RYA Instructors and all RYA Sailability groups too.

Also there is to be a meeting of the 'Gang of Four' in London on December 9 to discuss progress. Hugh Campbell is putting a letter together to publicise a forum to be held in the new year so it may be that this too could be sent out in your next mailer.

I will keep you posted and of course there is no reason why you should not join in the debate which may develop on DSF as time goes by.

With best wishes.

Derek.



DISABLED SAILING FORUM

Reinstating the Fellowship of ‘Sailability’ within the Disabled Sailing Community

disabled.sailing.forum@smartgroups.com

STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES WITH REGARD TO PROVIDING SAILING FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITES GARNERED FROM CORRESPONDENCE AND STATEMENTS MADE AT HOME PIERRPONT CONFERENCE ON ‘DELIVERING SAILING TO DISABLED SAILORS’ WHICH WAS ORGANISED BY RYA TRAINING DIVISION

“A fundamental principle of RYA training is that no recreational sailors are forced to participate. Individuals or clubs can make use of RYA training if they wish but the RYA has fought for many years to ensure that this is a matter of choice”.

“A club wishing to offer sailing courses or tuition to its membership is quite entitled to do so and not have any connection with RYA training at all However should that club wish to use an RYA or RYA Sailability logo to advertise its courses it is not unreasonable for the RYA to expect that they should comply with the conditions of RYA recognition. This applies to sailing for disabled and able bodied sailors”.

“You can be assured that the RYA is not being heavy handed over this and there is no compulsion for any club to become recognised or undergo inspection if they feel it is unnecessary or undesirable”.

“The issues raised apply to every club whether they offer sailing to disabled people or not”.

“RYA training provides a set of guidelines of good practice. Schools and clubs can opt for RYA recognition. If so their trainees can, if they wish to join a course, expect to be taught in a structured was by a qualified instructor. The TC is responsible for organising the insurance but special deals are available. An important benefit is that if an accident happens (and they are rare) the RYA can testify that good practice as defined by the national Authority has been observed”.

“There is nothing to stop club members from taking each other out and showing them the ropes, this is all an essential part of our sport. On these occasions people take responsibility for themselves, the club does not have to put out a safety boat or follow the recognition guidelines. The RYA has no wish to boss these worthy people about and shove recognition at them. All the RYA is doing is saying that if you want to learn to sail they have a good way of doing it”.