Inclusion World Championship for Sailing gets underway in Rostock

Inclusion World Championship for Sailing gets underway in Rostock

Inclusion World Championship for Sailing gets underway in Rostock

Sport

26/08/2022 - 09:30
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The organiser is the North German Regatta Association in cooperation with World Sailing, the Rostock Regatta Association and the German Sailing Association. 25 two-man teams from seven nations have registered for the top event in the Hanseatic city. The official opening took place this evening with Stefanie Drese, Minister for Social Affairs, Health and Sport in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, DSV President Mona Küppers, Dr. Heiko Lex, Head of the Rostock Office for Sport, Clubs and Volunteers, and the chairmen of the organising clubs. Starting tomorrow, sailing will take place for the World Championship title.

At the opening ceremony, Stefanie Drese, Minister for Social Affairs, Health and Sport in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, emphasised how much the patronage of the World Championship in Inclusive Sailing is close to her heart: “What is being set up here for the next four days in Rostock as the venue for this great Inclusive World Championship is an event that makes her heart swell for a sports and social affairs minister.” As a message of the event, she mentioned that it is worthwhile to focus more on inclusive sports. The Minister would like to see the event establish itself in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and hopes to convince everyone that the choice of Rostock as the venue was the right one, as it is an up-and-coming city with a passion for sport. Her special thanks go to all the voluntary helpers at the World Championships.

Mona Küppers, DSV President and also patron of the Inclusion World Championships, said that the posters for the World Championships in Rostock’s city centre already show that inclusive sailing projects have arrived in society and are being noticed. “I think that is excellent. The participants are the best example of how inclusion works. Entries from seven nations give the World Championships the glamour that such a top event deserves. These Inclusive World Championships, which are being held for the third time, are another milestone in the development of inclusive sailing, which inspires more and more people every year to take part in our beautiful sport. The World Championships is an event that inspires far beyond Rostock and has found a lot of support,” Küppers said in her speech. She concluded with a quote from Nelson Mandela, which is the motto above the championship: “Sport has the power to change the world.”

Inclusion World Championship for Sailing gets underway in Rostock
Inclusion World Championship for Sailing gets underway in Rostock

Dr. Heiko Lex, head of Rostock’s sports department, sees the inclusion championship as an opportunity to make sailing attractive for everyone living in the city. “We will try not only to implement the event well once, but also to continue it so that the whole thing is sustainable.” He hopes to integrate the concept into Rostock’s sporting landscape.

“The fact that 25 inclusive teams from seven nations have travelled to compete for the world championship title in the really impressive sailing stadium in the middle of the Hanseatic city of Rostock makes the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein and me very proud. We could not have dreamed of this when we started our inclusion initiative in 2009,” said Tobias König, chairman of the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, enthusiastically. He is very happy about the great support from World Sailing and the DSV’s commitment to inclusion.

Inclusion World Championship for Sailing gets underway in Rostock
Inclusion World Championship for Sailing gets underway in Rostock

A first day of training in the World Championship area and the opening ceremony will be followed by the races starting tomorrow, with five crews sailing against each other at the same time. Two athletes from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern will also be competing at the World Championships in Inclusive Sailing in Rostock: the team “Think big – Think social” with the successful Para swimmer and Rostock native Katherina Rösler and the Stralsund native and professional sailor Lennart Burke. Today, the two trained together for the first time in one of the World Championship boats in Rostock. Their previous sailing experience could hardly be more different.

The element of water is part of Katherina Rösler’s everyday life, but in her sport, para-swimming, she is in the water and not on it. For the World Championship in Inclusive Sailing, the high-performance athlete dares to change her perspective. “I grew up near the Baltic Sea and therefore with the water. I used to sail in the Opti for a very short time, otherwise I don’t have any sailing experience. But I’m looking forward to the challenge,” says the diminutive 20-year-old from Team Germany Paralympics. In her eyes, an important message of the World Championships is that people with and without handicaps can do sport equally – and not just in parallel competitions, but together. The goal is to show how well inclusion can work.

Inclusion World Championship for Sailing gets underway in Rostock
Inclusion World Championship for Sailing gets underway in Rostock

For Lennart Burke, sailing determines his life. He has been enthusiastic about water sports since he was nine years old and can already look back on several successful regatta participations, for example in the Mini Transat 2021 and the Melges European and World Championships. Currently, the professional sailor is planning his Class40 campaign. However, one thing is new for the experienced sailor at the World Championships: he sat in a S\V14 for the first time during training today. Basically, he says, it is always about motivating and inspiring other people, and that is also the case at the World Championships.

“Encouraging others to go beyond themselves and take on new challenges fits into my positive outlook on life. At the World Cup, we want to show people that inclusion works. For our team, it is important to me that we have fun during the races. But since we are both competitive athletes, I am sure we will also be a little ambitious,” explains Lennart Burke. Starting tomorrow, it will become clear what will prevail in the races for the “Think big – Think social” team – fun, ambition or, in the best case, a combination of both.

Inclusion World Championship for Sailing gets underway in Rostock
Inclusion World Championship for Sailing gets underway in Rostock

 

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