Visiting wheelchair user takes to the water to experience adaptive rowing

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Arran Coastal Rowing Club (ACRC) provided wheelchair user Debbie North with an unexpected opportunity to participate in the sport of coastal rowing thanks to their adaptive rowing team.

As one of only two rowing clubs in Scotland that offers rowing for people with disabilities, ACRC’s specially adapted skiff can be modified slightly to allow wheelchair users the ability to enjoy rowing as part of the crew.

It was only because of a chance meeting with an ACRC member that led to freelance journalist and motivational speaker, Debbie, experiencing an adaptive rowing session with the group in Lamlash Bay on Monday morning.


Debbie had been enjoying her first trip to Arran and was pleasantly surprised at finding out how accessible Arran’s tracks and pathways are. After her chance meeting with an ACRC member on Sunday, Debbie enjoyed an unassisted visit to the standing stones at Machrie where she took in the evening sunset among the atmospheric stones.

And, thanks to her chance meeting, she also got to explore some of Lamlash Bay, as a crew member on the purpose-built and adaptable ACRC skiff.

When asked if she had enjoyed her solo trip to Arran, Debbie said: ‘It’s beautiful and the people are so helpful and friendly, I would love to come back again.’

Since becoming a wheelchair user Debbie has campaigned tirelessly to break down barriers and promote accessibility for all. Living on a sheep farm in Cumbria, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park (YDNP), she is a member of the Local Access Forum for the YDNP and chairperson of the Access For All group.


All photographs: Dave Ingham.