The Disabled Sailing Association of Ontario (DSAO) along with Martha Henderson visited the Shellback Club and filled on members on DSAO's activities, history, and meaning to disabled sailors.
The DSAO in Toronto operates out of a location at Reese Street in Toronto's harbourfront, using a fleet of Martin 16s.
Further information on the DSAO can be found at: https://disabledsailingontario.com/.
About Rick Waters
Rick is a seasoned professional with over 27 years of business development experience. His primary focus now is on accessibility solutions, including home healthcare products, built environments, and accessible customer service.
Rick has over 40 years of experience as a person living with a disability and remains active in para-sports including sailing and boccia*. Board experience includes the DSAO and co-operative housing corporations.
*Boccia (/ˈbɒtʃə/ BOTCH-ə) is a precision ball sport, similar to bocce, and related to bowls and pétanque. The name "boccia" is derived from the Latin word for "boss" – bottia. The sport is contested at local, national and international levels, by athletes with severe physical disabilities. It was originally designed to be played by people with cerebral palsy but now includes athletes with other severe disabilities affecting motor skills. In 1984, it became a Paralympic sport, and in 2008 was being practised in over fifty countries worldwide. Boccia is governed by the Boccia International Sports Federation (BISFed) and is one of only two Paralympic sports (along with goalball) that have no counterpart in the Olympic program.
About Steven Franczuz
Steve is a retired engineer who started working as an apprentice electrician / instrument mechanic for Ontario Hydro. With further education and experience, Steven finished his career as an engineer at Ontario’s Independent Electricity Operator.
During his employment with Ontario Hydro, he consulted with persons with disability across Ontario as part of his work on the committee that produced the Ontario Hydro “Guide to Accommodating Persons with Disabilities in the Workplace”. He also worked with CUPE Ontario to provide a similar guide for their members. Steven delivered disability awareness training, including a disability simulation exercise to organizations across the province.
As a past volunteer with DSAO, he produced a replacement joystick controller for tiller/windlass operation at a fraction of the cost quoted by the original supplier. Steven also organized DSAO’s participation in the ABYC regatta and wrote the DSAO “Courage” document.
Steven is a volunteer at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab and works in the areas of Grade 1 integrated education, therapy and mobility to help students prepare to be integrated into the public school system. He participates in fundraising and volunteer recruitment; he is featured in a volunteer recruitment video on Holland Bloorview’s volunteer webpage. Steven also volunteers with the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club Able Sail Committee and does fundraising with the Hamilton Port Authority, Sunrise Rotary, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Hamilton Tiger Cats, Boston Pizza, and others. Steven loves sailing and participates in race nights at RHYC Able Sail and DSAO.
About Jo Morgan Dakin
Jo started sailing at the age of 10 where she spent her summers on Toronto Bay learning to sail and race dinghies. She then moved on to the big boats in and around Ontario. While doing her post-secondary education, Jo spent 10 summers teaching sailing in Ontario and British Columbia. She worked as an instructor at both the Ontario and British Columbia Sailing Associations, the Royal Vancouver and Royal Canadian Yacht Clubs and the Boulevard Club. She was also the Director of Sailing for the YMCA camp.
Jo attended Seneca College and graduated from Law Enforcement. She then went to the University of Toronto and has an Honours degree in Sociology and Criminology. Jo has served on four different boards in the past; two were sailing boards, one for soccer, and the other work-related. She has worked for the Ontario Sailing Association as the Director of Communications. Presently, Jo has her own company and is a Recruiter within the Food, Beverage, CPG, and Cannabis sector. She has 3 grown sons who also continue to sail and race today.
About Martha Henderson
Martha Henderson is currently on the Board of the Disabled Sailing Association of Ontario (DSAO) as a Director at Large; she works on the fundraising and community relations portfolios. Martha has been on the Board of Heritage Toronto, Sail Canada, and the Royal Canadian Yacht Club.
Her professional background is in sports & promotional marketing for companies such as International Management Group. In the not-for-profit sector she has been the Head of Membership and Group Sales at the Royal Ontario Museum.
Martha has worked in sports in the areas of sponsorship, athlete management and on the charitable side.
Additionally, she is a 2008 Olympian in the Women’s Keelboat Class. She has sailed in the J/24, Albacore, Snipe, and Yngling (an "agreeable cross between a planing dinghy and a keelboat") classes as well as in Match Racing. She was the 2008 Ontario Female Sailor of the Year and is currently the co-owner of a Shark; she finished 3rd at the 2017 Shark Worlds.
Martha Henderson spoke to the Shellback Club about her motivations, goals, experiences, and lessons learned in Olympic campaigning and competition. Some of those are different for women in competition than those for men.
About Martha Henderson
Through her entire career, Martha has inspired and led teams to achieve and succeed beyond their expectations. One of her greatest achievements was representing Canada with her sailing team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
In business, Martha led projects in sports and promotional marketing, many of which are still in market many years later. She worked with Canada’s top athletes, managing the endorsements and paid appearances of Canadian Champions, World Champions and Olympic Gold Medalists allowing them to pursue their dreams in sport and beyond.
Conflicted by the desire for excellence and becoming better every day that inspired Martha through her Olympic journey, and the bureaucracy and monotony of a 9-5 office job, she decided to become an entrepreneur and help others become better every day. Martha provides solutions in skin care, nutrition, wealth solutions and travel. Her vision is to inspire people to be motivated to become a little better every day.
Martha has an Honors BA English, University of Western Ontario. She is certified with the Tourism Industry Council of Ontario. Additionally, she has training with the National Institute of Broadcasting in Television & Radio and sales training with Performance Associates International.
One of her ways of helping others to become a little better every day is her involvement in Disabled Sailing in Toronto.
Vicki spoke to the Shellback Club about her experiences investigating bulk carrier ships and the place of bulk shipping on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. Vicki documents shipment of iron pellets, gypsum, grain, titanium ore, and concrete: the underpinnings of today's industry and construction. Vicki also offered a slide show of her excellent photography and insights on the lives of the mariners doing this work.
More of Vicki's photography can also be seen at: https://www.victoriapiersig.com.
About Victoria Piersig
Victoria is an avid sailor and the past owner of Fantome, an R Class boat, for more than thirty years.
She grew up in a family with strong political and social values, and was surrounded by art and handmade objects from an early age. Her father was a great influence in her early years resulting in a profound interest in construction and industry. Family vacations inevitably included tours of manufacturing plants, pulp mills, metal fabricators and artisan studios.
She lived for thirty-two years in the shadow of a now-disused malting factory located along the central waterfront in Toronto. In the early years, she loved the distant sound of the compressors and the sweet/sour malty smell drifting through her open windows on a hot summer’s night. Though the factory is now considered an eyesore by many, Victoria delights in the interplay of light and shadow on its scarred surface. “A majestic retired fortress of food, the malting factory reminds us that the communities along the shores of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River have their roots in the shipping of the natural resources that continue to sustain us.”
Victoria is a trained graphic designer and photographer with a working background in custom fabrication for television, film and display. Recent exhibitions, including work from her project, Trading Places, have been presented in public museums and cultural institutions from St. John to Missisauga. Her work is generously supported with grants from the Luminous Endowment Fund, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council.
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