THE popular Sailability scheme has returned to the Lough Erne Yacht Club (LEYC).

The group had been on a year’s break due to the coronavirus pandemic, but now sessions have began again.

LEYC Vice-Commodore for Sailing, John McCrea, said: “The group was started in 2019 with the support of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, and Disability Sports Northern Ireland, to enable those with more specific needs to get on the water for a sail.

“With specially designed boats, those who might otherwise not have access to the sport can now do so.

“Part of the equipment provided included a means of lowering individuals from their chair into a boat, therefore permitting a greater number of people access.

“We don’t ask why people feel they are disabled, we just ask ‘How can we cater for your needs’.

“People of all abilities and needs are most welcome to come, as there are no qualifying conditions, with our age limits being from 8 to 80-plus years.

“If your needs are physical, medical or mental etc, we can fully recommend giving the sport a try, be it for pure relaxation, or if you have aims to compete in Special Olympics.”

LEYC plans to hold weekly sessions on a Tuesday, hopefully continuing until the end of September, with the possibility of evening and weekend sessions being held in the future.

LEYC accepts up to eight people per session, aiming to offer a minimum of half an hour on the water sailing.

John said: “Adventurers will get sailing for half an hour in a very safe boat, accompanied by an experienced sailing buddy.”

Sailability has proved popular for many participants and has had a lasting impact.

One non-verbal participant wrote/dictated the following poem after attending a few Sailability sessions during the summer of 2019.

“I was questioning my quest of an area like Lough Erne. I am assured it is a magical area of legends.

“I look around at all wonderful scenes of evergreen trees and question how it is possible to create loveliness as this.

“I am assured by my experience that a mighty environmental weather created a magical location at Lough Erne.”

To find out more about Sailability, contact John at, or phone Jen at Lough Erne Yacht Club, at 0286 6388 432, between 9.15am to 4pm.