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If you've taken a closer look at our SWD yachts this week you would have noticed an exciting addition.
On Sunday we took the mainsail off Wot Eva and then carried it over to the neighboring park, where we could spread it out on the grass for Peter to carefully stick the business logo of our new sponsor NPE on.
He then also fixed the same logo to each side of Kayle and Wot Eva's hull. After he had finished, both yachts were looking very smart - thank you Peter.
But it wasn't until we took both yachts out together on Wednesday with a large school group, that we were able to see the full effect. From my position on the rail of Kayle, I could look back to Wot Eva and see the National Pump and Energy logo proudly on show around the harbour on her big mainsail. I couldn't help but be really happy in that moment - happy because SWD and these yachts mean not only a lot to me, but will mean a lot to the thousands of future disabled or disengaged kids and adults, carers and volunteers who will be reached by SWD because of NPE's sponsorship.
I've had the pleasure of spending time with the NPE managers when they joined me on Kayle for two of the Twilight Races that SWD competes in each week. We of course put them to work, on all the really hard jobs like hoisting the mainsail and grinding the main winch. But amongst the work, we had time to chat, and I could demonstrate how I was still able to sail well and get around on the boat, even though I'm an incomplete paraplegic. They could see what I meant when I described sailing as a freedom - physically freeing as I left my wheelchair behind on the dock, and let Kayle be my legs (and wings). And they experienced first hand the thrill of sailing and flying around the harbour by harnessing the wind's energy.
They didn't need me to explain how empowering that experience is for all of SWD's participants.
So thank you NPE for literally coming on board with us to see one part of what SWD does - I'm just one example of the disabled sailors and volunteers that your business' sponsorship will empower.
Now as your logo travels around on our special yachts, SWD will be able to continue the important work that it does.
Thank you NPE - we are so glad to have you on board!