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7 June 2005, 02:50 pm
YES-Asia Conference
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Disabled Sailing News

In November 2004, IFDS staged a Disabled Sailing Conference in the Netherlands, and in order to facilitate the growth of disabled sailing in Asia, IFDS has decided to proceed with plans to host a conference similar to YES-Europe in Asia.

'YES-Europe was an outstanding success' commented Australian David STALEY. 'YES-Europe is one of the best things that IFDS has ever done.'

The conference, called YES-Europe (Young Enabled Sailors), was funded principally by the European Commission. YES-Europe was a mixture of plenary sessiobns and workshops, focusing on the following topics, with YES-Asia set to continue the theme:

  • Developing a National Sailing Programme - outlined some of the key points which need to be considered when setting up a programme, with examples of best practice presented.
  • Success with Young People - highlighted on attracting youngsters into the sport and ensuring the sport was 'fun'.
  • Sailing with Sensory Impaired Young People.
  • Inclusion - focused on making sailing accessible to severely disabled people and females.
  • Working with Schools -included an inspiring presentation on the educational benefits, certification, legal requirements and integration of sailing within the school curriculum.

Between the Plenary Sessions workshops were held which were a mix of sharing best practice, theory and practical sessions, including Sailing Venues, Potential Sailors, Young Volunteers, Boats, Disability Awareness, Seating and Adaptations.

IFDS Vice President Phil VARDY (AUS) travelled to Singapore in May to discuss possibilities and put in place the arrangements with local authorities.

'Singapore is an amazing place' says Phil. 'It's busy, modern, clean, ordered, cosmopolitan and relatively wealthy. Events happen with remarkable efficiency and speed. In the next few years, Singapore will become a major sporting hub in the SE Asian region.'

In Singapore, it was agreed that the YES-Asia planning committee should consist of:

  • Pauline Harrison, Chairman of IFDS Development Committee
  • Edwin Low, Singapore Sailing
  • Frankie Sinniah, Sailability Singapore
  • Kevin Wong, Singapore Disability Sports Council
  • Phil Vardy, IFDS Vice-President

YES-Asia will be held in Singapore in early November 2005 - immediately before the ISAF Annual Conference.

More details will be published soon, including the full YES-Asia programme. In the meantime, interested parties are invited to register their interest in participating to the IFDS Secretariat at

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