Learning from the best: Youngsters take to the water with Paralympic gold medallist (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Learning from the best: Youngsters take to the water with Paralympic gold medallist
2:00pm Wednesday 11th September 2013 in News
TEN lucky youngsters from two local schools were given the best possible introduction to sailing when they were joined by London 2012 Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas.
Four pupils from Montacute Special School in Canford Heath and six from St Catherine’s Primary in Wimborne excitedly took to the harbour with Helena and other instructors aboard four Wayfarers to celebrate National Paralympic Day at Poole Yacht Club.
The club is hosting the 2013 International 2.4mR World Championships this week and Helena, who made history by becoming the first female Paralympic gold medallist in the class, is competing.
She said: “Whenever there's an opportunity to do a day like today and promote sport, I want to. I thoroughly enjoy doing it and I want people to experience what I've experienced from doing sport.
“The Paralympics have really inspired people to get out on the water. It’s fantastic a year on to see how the British public is still embracing the Paralympic Games and attitudes to disability have just completely changed.
“I think disabled people are finding there's more for them to do out there off the back of the Paralympics, there’s more sports centres making it more accessible for disabled people to get into sport and there is still a fantastic momentum.”
National Paralympic Day celebrates the first anniversary of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The taster event run by RYA Sailability with Rockley Watersports, was one of a series across sports all over the country to encourage more people to get involved.
Maddy Deary, 10, from Wimborne, said: "It was amazing to be standing next to a Paralympian and get to hold her medal.”
Matthew Stone, 10, from Ferndown, added: “The medal was extremely heavy and it had braile on the side of it. I’d definitely go sailing again.”
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