Goolwa Sailability program returns to bring smiles to families

On a sunny Saturday morning, there were smiles all around at the Goolwa Regatta Yacht Club (GRYC), as the Sailability program recommenced after a year's lay-off due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The program is run completely by volunteers (usually once a month) and connects people with disabilities to the sport of sailing.

People with varying physical and mental limitations are catered for, with skilled sailors volunteering their time to help them hit the water.

Goolwa Sailability coordinator Ian Barker said it was great to be back helping members of the community.

"The program has been part of the GRYC since 1998 and we have people from all over Adelaide coming here to be involved," he said.

"We operate nine boats including a large vessel, which we take carers and parents on so they really feel involved."

Mr Barker said the program was well supported by the Variety Club and Corinthian Lodge of Goolwa, as well as a large number of volunteers.

"No matter what a person's disability is, we will aim to accommodate them. If they can't get into a boat themselves we have slings and a motorised hoist available," he said.

The return session - held on March 27 - also served as the official launch of a new Rigid Inflatable Boat, donated to the program by Masonic Charities.

"We were very lucky to receive this boat and we thank the Corinthian Lodge of Goolwa for their support in facilitating this donation," Mr Barker said.