By Shane Jones
Next week will be very significant for Sailability Bundaberg, as it celebrates a major milestone.
Sailability Bundaberg is celebrating 15 years of service, helping those with a disability to get involved in sailing.
The club, which started in 2005, held its first ever sailing day on 25 May 2006 and has glided through the seas ever since.
“In 2005 it was realised that outdoor activities for the disabled were very limited,” Sailability Bundaberg secretary Derek Glanfield said.
“Queensland Bayside Sailability Club was already established and were approached for guidance to setting up a club in Bundaberg.
“Through their support a steering committee in Bundaberg was formed.
“Bundaberg Sailing Club offered their facilities for use and a number of their members were directly involved in establishing Sailability Bundaberg.
“With three sailing dinghies on loan, Sailability Bundaberg held its first sailing day on the 25 May 2006, which was a great success.”
Since then plenty of people of all ages have used the club to get involved in sailing.
The club currently has 20 people involved with sailing and the club, ran on volunteers, has three members who have been there since the first day.
“Our client’s ages range from school children up to adults of all ages,” Glanfield said.
“We provide them with a safe environment where they can participate in the sport of sailing.”
The club meet every Thursday to provide that opportunity at the Bundaberg Sailing Club, located at 66 Strathdees Road, weather permitting.
The club has also survived the floods in 2011 and 2013 and the coronavirus pandemic, which threatened to stop the program.
“Through the NDIS and the support organisations in Bundaberg people with disabilities are able to expand their interest in varying activities, which includes sailing,” Glanfield said.
“Our client base is getting back to normal with around 20-plus clients sailing each Thursday.
“The funding for Sailability Bundaberg is through the Bundaberg Regional Council and Government grants, sailing fees and donations from individuals other Bundaberg clubs and organisations.”
If you want to be involved with Sailability Bundaberg, as either volunteer or someone who wants to give it a go, head to sailabilitybundaberg.com or call Glanfield on 0421 329 935.