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  • Southside

Dún Laoghaire based group is offering the adventure of a lifetime

Tuesday, 1st January, 2019 7:59am
Dún Laoghaire based group is offering the adventure of a lifetime

Each crew member will be able to learn and work together equally, regardless of ability.

Dún Laoghaire based group is offering the adventure of a lifetime

Each crew member will be able to learn and work together equally, regardless of ability.

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SPINAL Injuries Ireland is offering people an unforgettable adventure this summer while helping to raise funds for the Dún Laoghaire-based group.

In May, Spinal Injuries Ireland is embarking on their inaugural Tall Ships Challenge, their flagship, fully inclusive, fundraising challenge.

This exciting and fully-inclusive expedition will be led by Ireland’s most decorated Paralympian athlete, John Twomey, 

All participants will have the experience of a lifetime while knowing that their participation will enable support and services for the over 1,900 people in Ireland who have suffered a spinal cord injury.

John Twomey will take the helm with the SII crew of six people with spinal cord injuries, their six  assistants, and 18 able-bodied people as they set sail from John’s native Cork to Southampton, and circling the Jurassic Coast and the Isle of Wight over six days.

The voyage will take place aboard the ‘Lord Nelson’ Tall Ship; a specially-designed fully accessible vessel. The facilities on the Lord Nelson make it possible for each crew member to learn and work together equally, regardless of ability. There will be no passengers onboard as everyone is a crew member. Each person will have their own role to play on the team with no assumptions made about ability. On this ship everyone is given the respect, space and tools to achieve their personal and team goals. All that’s needed is determination.

“Crewing the Tall Ship will mean full participation in a thrilling experience which is certain to impart a new belief in each person’s own abilities,” a spokesperson explained. “The SII Tall Ships Challenge is an opportunity to say yes to adventure, yes to teamwork and yes to pushing yourself further than even you can imagine.”

 Each crew member will be required to fundraise €3,000 in the run up to the event.

Assistants’ costs will however be covered. (Each wheelchair user may bring a personal assistant free of charge).

All funds will go to services provided by Spinal Injuries Ireland.

Participants will receive a fundraiser’s info pack and will be supported with advice and tips on how to fundraise.

The sailing will take place from May 22 to May 27.

A doctor will be present and on call along with trained sailing instructors as part of the crew. Sponsorship opportunities are available to companies who wish to support individual crew members or the team as a whole.

John Twomey is highly respected and decorated as one of Ireland’s finest athletes. Having competed in sailing and athletics at 11 Paralympic games since 1976, John is the perfect man to lead the new SII Tall Ships Challenge. He has also competed in table tennis and discus to great success. Now retired from competition, John is still an avid sailing and sports lover.

“Sailing is a fabulous sport for anyone with a disability because you get out there on the water and it’s just you and the elements and there is a great sense of freedom to it,” he enthused.

John has been a client of Spinal Injuries Ireland since its foundation and has gone on to join the Board of Directors. He is also a board member for the Irish Sailing Association (ISA). He has championed fundraising for SII services with events  including the Jazz Ball.

Set sail on the ‘Lord Nelson’ Tall Ship this summer.

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