Inclusive sailing, an essential part of the project ‘Sailing into the Future. Together’19 May 2022
Setting goals and working hard to accomplish them, collaborating and socialising, having fun and experimenting: these are some of the best and most meaningful values of sport, which everyone should have the opportunity to live. Well aware of this purpose, IBSA – in the context of its social responsibility activities – intends to promote inclusive sailing through its project Sailing into the Future. Together, in order to allow people with disabilities to feel emotionally involved and rewarded at a sporting level. Sailing therefore becomes a tool to improve one’s skills and acquire greater confidence, to learn to know oneself better and to overcome physical and cognitive difficulties.
And not only that: the project is also an opportunity to educate to respect the other, fighting prejudices and discrimination. Inclusive sailing intends to promote a cultural and social change, offering people with disabilities interesting opportunities to get involved in sports and allowing everyone to become aware of diversity and deal with it.
The commitment to creating a debate and an interaction capable of enriching people’s lives characterises IBSA’s DNA in all its activities. The pillars of the company – Person, Innovation, Quality and Responsibility – find their full expression in the project Sailing into the Future. Together: Innovation and Quality in relation to the building of the IBSA-branded Class40; Responsibility for social and environmental issues; and centrality of the Person, thanks to several partnerships with yacht clubs in Italy, France and Switzerland that promote inclusive sailing.
YACHT CLUB PUNTA ALA – GROSSETO, ITALY
Founded in 1976, the Yacht Club Punta Ala (in the province of Grosseto) allows also people with disabilities to experience the thrills of sailing, thanks to their collaboration with institutions such as FIV (Federazione Italiana Vela, Italian Sailing Federation), FISD (Federazione Italiana Sport Disabili, Italian Federation of Sports for the Disabled) and CIP (Comitato Italiano Paralimpico, Italian Paralympic Committee). Recognising the important contribution of this club to the cause of inclusiveness, IBSA chose to involve it in the initiatives planned within Sailing into the Future. Together with the donation of two special boats designed to be sailed by people with disabilities.
SOCIETÉ DES REGATES D’ANTIBES – ANTIBES, FRANCE
Historic and renowned yacht club, the Societé des Regates d’Antibes (French Riviera) is the partner identified by IBSA in France, to which the company chose to donate two Hansa 303 boats for people with disabilities. The centre has been active for some time in the field of inclusive sailing: its fleet includes three trimarans that allow people with reduced mobility to navigate safely and take part in important regattas, such as the tournée Handi Voile 06. Furthermore, since 2014 the centre has organised the French Handivalide Championship for navigators with reduced mobility and able-bodied in Mini-Js. In this championship will also compete IBSA-branded Hansa 303s.
ASSOCIAZIONE VELABILI – LUGANO, SWITZERLAND
Since 2016 the Associazione Velabili offers people with physical, mental and sensory disabilities the possibility to practice sailing at the Circolo Velico Lago di Lugano. The organisation – which has a fleet of five adapted boats and can count on qualified skippers – is affiliated with the Federazione Ticinese Vela (Ticino Sailing Federation) and its steering committee includes representatives of the major associations for disabled athletes in the canton. This makes it possible to practice a truly inclusive sport, with a profitable and effective exchange between able-bodied and disabled athletes. IBSA has decided to support the disabled sailors of the Associazione Velabili in participating in the Special Olympics World Games, to be held in Berlin in 2023. To make the Olympic team, they will have to participate in intermediate qualifying regattas, the most imminent of which is that of St. Gallo, in June 2022. Good luck; indeed, fair winds!