A SAILING school near Ashbourne has received a cash boost to encourage more disabled people to try the sport.
Carsington Sailability, at Carsington Water, received the £10,000 grant award from Sport England to invest in new equipment.
The money will be used to buy a hoist for transferring disabled sailors into and out of boats and a specially designed Access 303 dinghy.
Malcolm Torry, of Carsington Sailability, said: "This award will support the club's push to get more disabled people taking part in sailing. There is a demand for sport among the disabled community in the area and the new equipment will enable us to make more sailing opportunities available through the season.
"Having a second hoist will make transfers to and from wheelchairs quicker, enabling more sailors to get on the water. The new 303 Access Dinghy will provide two additional places per sailing session for people taking part in our programme, and increase the opportunities for Sailability members to sail more often."
Lisa O'Keefe, of Sport England, said: "We know many organisations and clubs delivering sport struggle to provide sporting opportunities for disabled people because of a lack of access to specialist equipment.
"We are delighted to award these vital funds to Carsington Sailability, which will play a transformative role in opening up sport to many people who previously found it inaccessible."
Neil Wilkinson, RYA sailability regional organiser for the East Midlands, said: "Sailing is all about what people can do, not what they can't. It is a truly inclusive sport where people of all abilities can sail recreationally and compete on a level playing field.
"There is a freedom found on the water that people often can't find in their everyday lives and this new equipment will open up even more doors to sailing in the region for people with disabilities."
To celebrate the grant, Carsington Sailability is holding its annual open and fun day for families and children on Saturday, July 19, from 11am until 4pm. The pirate-themed event includes competitions and sideshows with proceeds going towards Sailability funds.
Carsington Sailability is a recognised RYA training centre conforming to the highest standards of quality and safety.
The award is part of Sport England's Get Equipped fund, which aims to build on the success of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
£1 million of National Lottery cash is being distributed to organisations across England so they can buy specialist equipment to encourage more disabled people to take part in sport.