This project is a joint initiative of the National Youth and the National Sailability Committees.
In reviewing the issue of youth development and creating a pathway to Paralympic representation, Yachting Australia Paralympic Head Coach Greg OMAY identified the need to develop an under pinning programme for the Yachting Australia Paralympic squad for the purposes of developing a feeder group of talented sailors to the senior programme.
Programmes for youth sailors with disabilities are currently occurring within the Sailability umbrella. The inclusion within the National Youth Development Plan of a youth programme for youth sailors with disabilities, which would include domestic competition recognition, will go along way to inspiring Sailability programmes to attract and assist talented youth sailors.
The pathway for development of these youth sailors will be through Yachting Australia's Paralympic Programme. Yachting Australia proposes to introduce a Paralympic Programme Development Squad in the near future. There is also an expectation that Yachting will also develop an under pinning programme to the Development Squad through working with youth sailors within the state squad system.
The first step in the project is to profile this discipline of youth sailing within the Australian Youth Championship event. The use of the Access dinghies is in response to their availability in Australia. In reviewing disabled sailing around Australia, the most commonly available boat is the Access dinghy. These boats are suitable for use by youth sailors either as a single- or double-handed discipline.
'By identifying our talented youth sailors with disabilities at a National level and providing training opportunities within the State and National Development Squads the pathway to Paralympics representation will be made easier,' OMAY reported yesterday.