£9k lets spine injury group launch watersports project

PEOPLE with spinal injuries are to have the chance to take part in a watersports coaching programme.

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Angie Malone, below centre, tries out a kayak, above, then joins Jackie Maceira, of Scotland Disability Equality Forum, left, and Renfrewshire Access chairman Stephen Cruickshank, right
Angie Malone, below centre, tries out a kayak, above, then joins Jackie Maceira, of Scotland Disability Equality Forum, left, and Renfrewshire Access chairman Stephen Cruickshank, right

Spinal Injury Scotland has set up the initiative in Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park with funding from the National Lottery Celebrate programme.

It will allow people in wheelchairs to use specially adapted equipment on the water.

John Clark, chairman of Spinal Injuries Scotland (SIS), said: "Glasgow 2014 was a wonderful showcase of sport and inclusion with the integration of the para-sports in the programme one of its defining successes.

"This funding means the people we support can have access to new and exciting opportunities, a great example of a Commonwealth Games legacy."

SIS received £9600 from the Celebrate fund.

At a special launch event yesterday visitors had the chance to try new accessible equipment installed at the Castle Semple Centre, Lochwinnoch.

The centre will teach people with spinal injuries how to sail and they will also get the chance to try other watersports such as canoeing and kayaking.

The charity's spokes-woman said: "Often, after a spinal injury, our members feel worried about the life-changing position they are in and can become depressed about the fact that they can no longer live the life they once led.

"However at SIS we aim to show those who are presently and newly injured that new doors can be open and that a new fulfilling skill can be mastered post injury."

SIS is a national voluntary organisation helping people who have new or long-term spinal cord injuries, as well as their relatives and friends.

It also supports those involved in the management, care and rehabilitation of injuries.

The charity is based in Glasgow, near the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit at the Southern General Hospital, but serves the whole of Scotland.

The centre was opened yesterday by councillor Christopher Gilmour and British Paralympian and world champion wheelchair curler Angie Malone.

catriona.stewart@eveningtimes.co.uk

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