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1 May 2003, 12:13 pm
AYF Mainstream Paralympic Sailing Programme
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Disabled Sailing

Sailing has become the second sport in Australia to sign an agreement with the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) to mainstream disabled sailing.

The Australian Yachting Federation (AYF) has signed an agreement with the APC to provide sport services to athletes with a disability, with the goal to continue achieving medal-winning performances at the Paralympic Games and other International and National competitions.

Athlete and coaches services for the Paralympic Squad have been modelled on the Olympic Squad since 1998, with funding from the APC. The agreement will now allow the AYF to fully integrate, manage and administer the National Paralympic Squad alongside other High Performance programs.

AYF CEO Phil Jones said, "In sailing, modified equipment allows athletes with a range of disabilities to compete equally, both with one another and against those without disabilities."

"Perhaps, more than any other sport, sailing offers genuine mainstreaming opportunities. This agreement is a natural extension of our policy regarding athletes with disabilities."

The AYF has now been invited to become a full member of the APC with associated voting rights. This will give the AYF the opportunity to contribute to the further development of disabled sport within Australia.

Australian teams have participated in the IFDS World Disabled Sailing Championships and other significant international/world disabled sailing events since 1994 and the AYF is a current member of the International Foundation for Disabled Sailors (IFDS).

The 2003 AYF National Paralympic Squad will be announced shortly, it is anticipated that this squad will consist of eight athletes in both the 2.4mR and Sonar Paralympic classes.

Simone Green
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