The Andrew Cassell Foundation supports individuals with physical disabilities, mental health conditions or long term illness to take part in yacht racing and cruising at the highest level. The Foundation works to achieve the integration of sailors with disabilities with able bodied sailors.
The foundation was established by Andy Cassell with a group of CCYC members when he returned from the Atlanta Paralympics in 1996, having won a Gold Medal for sailing. Prior to the Paralympics, Andy had spent a lifetime competing in able-bodied fleets before leading the first GB Paralympic sailing team and he was determined to give something back to a sport that he loved and from which he had gained so much.
Much of an individual’s ability to deal with the serious, personal and sometimes lifelong challenges caused by their condition is centred around personal confidence. Sailing in keelboats and yachts provides the ideal environment for the development of this confidence. Lasting impact is achieved through coach mentoring within supportive culture and from the inspirational example of fellow disabled sailors.
One of the most satisfying aspects of the Andrew Cassell Foundation’s work has been the fact that many of the sailors who began racing with the Foundation have gone on to become very competent, competing on equal terms with able bodied sailors within top racing fleets.