Mike Rawbone Challenge Cup highlight of ten-day event for female

Mike Rawbone Challenge Cup highlight of ten-day event for female

Mike Rawbone Challenge Cup highlight of ten-day event for female

Sport

10/10/2022 - 11:40
advertising

Racing in the Hansa 303 and 2.4mR classes, women from across Hong Kong have raised the flag to female Para Sailors around the world and to Sailability Hong Kong co-founder and chairman Mike Rawbone – the hugely important figure in Para Sailing and pioneer of the sport in Hong Kong, who passed away in 2020.

The Cup has been one of the highlights of Sailability Hong Kong’s ten-day programme dedicated to World Sailing’s Steering the Course, aimed at providing opportunities for women and girls with disabilities to get into sailing and encourage pathways into coaching and race management.

The event also marks yet another milestone for Sailability Hong Kong, which has now helped over 6,000 underprivileged people with disabilities in the Hong Kong community and gives over 3,000 sailing lessons every year.

Kay Rawbone, co-founder and CEO of Sailability Hong Kong, Chair of the Asian Para Sailing Committee and member of the Asian Sailing Federation (ASAF) Executive Committee, explained:

“It’s a tremendous feeling to see so many women and girls with disabilities from across Hong Kong take part in this year’s Steering the Course and compete in the Challenge Cup in the name of Mike – reminding us of what we started together.

 “We created Sailability Hong Kong to give people from all walks of life, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion and ethnicity the opportunity to sail.

 “Now, we’re having our busiest ten days ever of Steering the Course events here at our Hebe Haven Yacht Club base.

 “This is all true testament to Mike’s legacy.”

Mike Rawbone Challenge Cup highlight of ten-day event for female
Mike Rawbone Challenge Cup highlight of ten-day event for female

Asian Paralympic athletes spur grassroots growth

Sailability Hong Kong’s “Making Sailing Accessible for Everyone” mantra is deep rooted, but it was thanks to sailing’s debut at the 2014 Asian Para Games in Incheon, South Korea, that the charity’s outreach grew dramatically.

“We’re now catering for every type of sailor,” explained Rawbone.

 “From the outset in 2009, we’d focused on giving people with ASD [Autistic Spectrum Disorder] and SEN [Special Educational Needs] access to sailing, with the occasional sailor with a physical impairment.

 “Then sailing made its debut at the 2014 Asian Para Games. We trained members of the 24-strong team – many were not sailors and had joined from other Paralympic sports.”

 When Hong Kong won bronze at these Games in the 2.4mR class, Hong Kong Sailability grew beyond Rawbone’s wildest dreams.

“Whatever was put our way, we said ‘yes’. We found a way to do it,” said Rawbone.

Mike Rawbone Challenge Cup highlight of ten-day event for female
Mike Rawbone Challenge Cup highlight of ten-day event for female

Sailing – making a real difference

With Hong Kong Sailabilty now “97% local” – managed and run by local members of the community – Rawbone has reached another major goal.

During weeks like these, Rawbone can assess the full impact of Sailability Hong Kong:

“Our goal as two people originally from outside of Hong Kong was always to do this for the local community – make sailing as accessible and inclusive as possible, and provide a safe environment for people irrespective of their ability or gained life challenges.

“In the global sailing community, we know just how much sailing can make a difference. On top of being therapeutic and perfect for rehabilitation, this sport improves confidence, communication, independence and technical skills, which in turn has a huge impact on mental wellness and self-esteem.

“We rely entirely on donations from companies and local organisations, other charities, educational organisations and members of the public.

“We’ve all worked so hard to develop our programs to engage more people within the under-represented areas of our community – thank you to everyone for making this happen.”

advertising
PREVIOS POST
Explosive Last Race Decides World Championship
NEXT POST
Code Zero e KS Global Yelken top ORC perfromers at Bosphorus Cup