27 January 2018
Matilda International Hospital Sponsors a Boat for Sailing Programmes for People with Disabilities
Learning to sail independently helps give confidence a boost
The 27 January 2018 was a proud day for Matilda International Hospital which launched a sail boat “Matilda” ‘at Hebe Haven Yacht Club, Sai Kung. By donating the sail boat the hospital aims to enable more people with disabilities to gain confidence through training programmes run by the local charity, Sailability Hong Kong.
The boat named after “Matilda” is a Hansa Access 303 dinghy which is stable and easy to sail for one or two people. It has two sails, ideal for novices and suitable for people with physical disabilities, both for recreational sailing and racing. Sailability trains people with intellectual or physical disabilities to sail, and leads a para sailing team to compete at local and international competitions including World Championships. Recently, the charity also extended their programmes to people who are recovering from a major accident or illness.
Linda Burgoyne, CEO of Matilda International Hospital says, “We value the work of Saliability in helping people going through lengthy rehabilitation as well as people with disabilities. Recovery takes time, and community and mental support are important for patients who encounter some of life’s challenges and helps them regain self-esteem. By adding a new boat to the Sailability’s fleet, it will allow more people to join these meaningful programmes “.
“Our sailors are thrilled to learn that we have an additional dinghy donated by the Matilda. We’ve been trying to replace our old boats to stay competitive internationally and reduce our maintenance costs. Our para sailors represent Hong Kong to compete in international events and have won a few awards. Our training programmes provide opportunity for people to improve independence, self-confidence and enhance sense of achievement,” adds Kay Rawbone, founder of Sailability.
Linda continues, “We are touched by the stories told by the sailors who join Sailability. Many have overcome serious obstacles with amazing energy and determination. We were particularly inspired by one of our young patients, Jack, who at 8 was diagnosed with Perthes disease. Following his hip surgery Jack has benefitted a lot from sailing which gives him freedom and fun whilst learning a new skill, all thanks to the dedication of Sailability and their team of trainers.”
Sailability para sailing team has competed in Korea, Finland, United Kingdom, Germany, Holland, Japan and Australia. They are now preparing for the next competitions in Chicago and Japan later this year.
About Matilda International Hospital
Matilda International Hospital is a not for profit private hospital providing personalised patient care with international standards. Key areas of expertise include health screening, women’s health, orthopaedics/spinal, ear nose and throat, and general surgery. Seamless medical services are supported by an outpatient department and a conveniently located medical centre in Central.
About Sailability Hong Kong
Founded in 2009, Sailability Hong Kong provides the opportunity for anyone with a disability (physical or intellectual) to learn to sail or have a sailing experience. To date 1,374 different people with a disability have sailed with this charity. In 2016, they conducted over 3,500 individual sailing lessons and weather permitting, this number will likely increase each year.
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