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Setting sail for the Games

Mick Kelly, Deputy Head, Kersland Special School

Today a teacher-pupil team from Kersland Special School compete in the Race 2 the Games sailing race. Mick Kelly, competitor and deputy head, explains how accessible sailing has inspired pupils at Kersland Special School.

Kersland School in Paisley have been taking part in accessible sailing at Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park’s Castle Semple Centre in Lochwinnoch since February. It has always been hugely beneficial for all of our pupils and not just in the sense that it is a fun, enjoyable activity for them. Sailing has also helped our pupils to make huge developmental gains.

Today one of our pupils, Rory Wilson, and I will be taking part in Race 2 the Games. Rory is 17 and he was selected to take part in the race due to his commitment to sailing and enthusiasm during training at Clyde Muirshiel's Castle Semple Centre. This 33km sailing race up the River Clyde from James Watt Dock in Greenock to the Glasgow Science Centre will be a big challenge for both of us, but we are very excited to be taking part.

For many months now Rory and I have been training for the race to make sure we are ready when the big day comes along. However, not only has Rory gained excellent sailing abilities, he has developed many other skills.

Rory has found a love of teaching sailing to other people, both pupils and staff.  On training days he can be seen helping others into their boats and showing them the basics. Sailing has allowed Rory to make huge improvements in his teamwork and communication skills and it is fantastic to see how much he enjoys sharing his knowledge with everyone.

For Rory and I the legacy of Race 2 the Games will be Rory’s sailing knowledge and his love of sharing it with everyone. I hope that this will inspire those around him, in the same way it has everyone involved in Race 2 the Games, for many years to come.  Who knows maybe we will see some Paralympic sailors in the future whose first big event was Race 2 the Games!”