ANTIGUA TO HOST PARA OLYMPIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
Monday 24th December 2018
10 Countries to Attend Antigua based Para Olympic Development Programme Training in January
Antigua will host the first Para- Olypic Development Programme (PDP) following a period of sustatined development in the region by Antigua Sailability and the National Sailing Academy.
Bob Bailey of Antigua Sailability attended the 2018 PDP in Maclesine Italy and developed ideas further to develop Para Sailing across the Caribbean region and to gain knowledge on how to host a clinic.
Taking place from 19-25 January the clinic will bring together instructors and sailors from Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, USA, France, UK, and Australia as well as host nation Antigua.
The clinic will be delivered by World Sailing using Hansa 303 boats especially designed for para-sailing. 20 Hansa 303’s have now arrived in Antigua and will be utilised for the week preceeding the course during the usual daily operations of the school offering all children and adults who sail during that week to experience the boats. An open day to officially open the newly fitted dock and offer the opportunity for anyone interested to learn to sail will also form part of the two week programme.
One of only three para-sailing programmes outside of the United Kingdom, Antigua Sailability is the brain child of Bob Bailey who set up the programme four years ago on a volunteer basis. Based at the National Sailing Academy in English Harbour, the programme now povides up to 85 sailing experiences to disabled children and adults weekly. Of the programme Bailey said, ‘With the new dock and hoist completed we can now being to include physical diasbled people into the programme. According to Uniuted Nations Statistics there are an estimated 2000 people in Antigua and Barbuda with physcial and mental disabilities. Our programme seeks to offer them a wekly opportunity to get out onto the water and experience something completely different from their daily lives.’ Of the positive effect on the individuals Bailey says, ‘Running and funding the programme is very challenging as it relies on volunteers and donors however the smiles on the faces of the children and adults when they are on the water makes all of the hard work very worthwhile.’