Tuesday, 28 July 2009

2012 Olympic Sailing Venue Wins International Architecture Award

Completed facilities at the 2012 Olympic Sailing Venue: Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. Image copyright Dorset Media Service.

by Cailah Leask

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA), has won an acclaimed International Architecture Award. The International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS), the only organisation for sports facilities recognised by the International Olympic Committee, and The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy as winner of the ‘IPC/IAKS Distinction for Accessibility 2009’.

This successful awards programme has been running for 20 years and now includes the most important globally recognised architectural award for sport and leisure facilities. During 2009 these unique awards attracted 14 different countries to enter with 54 entries being received for the ‘IPC/IAKS Distinction Award’. The award is aimed at increasing the accessibility of all sports facilities and architectural projects in order to give opportunities to persons with disability to practise and view sport freely and without barriers.

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy building. Image copyright WPNSA.

Disabled access to the venue was a huge influence to the purpose built WPNSA facilities, with disabled access hoists on the pontoons providing the safest access to tidal waters for people with disabilities anywhere in the UK.

Helena Lucas, Paralympic Sailor, comments on WPNSA, ‘I love training in Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour as they offer a wide range of sailing conditions. The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy is an unbeatable venue for disabled sailors with new, customised facilities. I don’t know of any other sailing venue where the needs of sailors of all abilities are so well catered for’.WPNSA won the distinguished award alongside other prestigious international sports venues including; The Beijing Olympic Stadium - China, La Molina Ski Resort – Spain, Moscow Region Speed Skating Center Kolomna, Colomna – Russia and The National Tennis Centre, London – UK.

WPNSA pontoon facilities inspected by Her Majesty the Queen. Image copyright WPNSA.

John Tweed, Chief Executive, WPNSA, has been invited to attend the official prize giving ceremony to be held during October in Cologne, Germany. ‘We are very honoured that the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy has received such a prestigious architectural award recognised globally by the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee. We hold accessibility for persons with disabilities to our venue extremely highly as everyone who wishes to experience a water based sport should feel free to do so without barriers’.

Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy

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