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Proud mom Leah Kinarthy and son Ariel

Ariel Kinarthy, 11, of Vancouver, is a participant in the White Sail certification program. His mom, Leah, knows that sailing is an extremely important outlet for her son. "We just moved here recently and when we found out about the Disabled Sailing Association we very excited."

"Ariel was nervous about using the sling to get in and out the boat, but once he was out there it was wonderful. He has the joystick, and for the first time controls something of his own," Leah said.

"Since no one else in our family sails, he doing something the rest of us can't do. He's not in a chair when he's out on the water. There is an element of freedom when you can leave your wheel chair behind. It's hard to explain, but it means everything to him. It's given him a real sense of accomplishment, and he is very aware that they are not lowering the net for him like they do in tennis," the proud mom said.

"Since Ariel has taken up sailing, we've noticed a change is his attitude. Now he's playing power soccer and he wants to try power hockey. After he completes his White Sail he'll be on his own."

  Image: Two boats racing.

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