Get into Watersports with Get Wet NI
Tuesday, 4 April 2017
Always wanted to have a go at watersports but didn’t know how to get involved? Get Wet NI is the perfect way to try something for the first time and see if it’s for you.
During May Watersports clubs throughout Northern Ireland will be opening their doors to members of the public to have a go and try out a whole range of watersports including canoeing, sailing, water skiing and wake boarding, rowing, angling, stand up paddle boarding and diving. No prior experience or specialist equipment required there really is no excuse not to give it a try!
The campaign kicks off with a weekend of water based outdoor activity taster events all over Northern Ireland during the weekend of 6th and 7th May with further opportunities to have a go on a range of Taster events throughout the month of May. These events will be closely followed by a series of follow up training events throughout the summer to encourage participants to continue in their chosen watersport.
SportNI is one of the leading organisations behind the initiative and their Outdoor Recreation Development Officer, Mike McClure commented “Get Wet NI is a wonderful way for people to experience the fantastic watersports opportunities here in Northern Ireland and hopefully by taking part in this campaign it will help develop favourite past-times that participants will take part in for many years to come”.
Waterways Ireland, who are part funding the project are looking forward to welcoming new users onto their waterways trying out new experiences, Sharon Lavin from the organisation explained, “‘Get Wet NI’ is a fantastic opportunity for people to experience the great natural water resources we have here in Northern Ireland. The Erne System and Lower Bann waterways, which will be used for some of the events, are simply stunning and an opportunity to explore these particularly scenic areas from the water should not be missed.”
Visit www.GetWetNI.com to see a full list of taster events that are being offered as part of the campaign and find your next adventure!
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Beginners get a taste of the water as part of Flow
Tuesday, 17 May 2016
Hundreds of beginners took to the water last weekend as part of a new national campaign called ‘Flow’ which aims to get more people in Northern Ireland into watersports in the lead up to the European Week of Sport in September.
Over the course of the weekend there were twenty three watersport clubs based on waterways all over Northern Ireland including the Lagan, Lough Erne, the Foyle and Belfast Lough offering taster events over the weekend of 14th and 15th May. The taster events were being offered to the public for a reduced cost to introduce them to a range of watersports including canoeing, sailing, water-skiing, kitesurfing, wake boarding, rowing, angling, stand up paddle boarding and diving.
The weekend celebrated the rich variety of watersports available across the whole of Northern Ireland and marked the start of the initiative. A series of follow up training events until the European Week of Sport in September are now being offered to encourage people to continue to take part in watersports. Therefore members of the public who didn’t get the chance to attend one of the taster events last weekend can still get involved by taking part in one of these upcoming training events over the next few months.
Flow is co-funded by The Erasmus Plus programme of the European Union and is a partnership between SportNI and a range of water based National Governing Bodies. SportNI’s Outdoor Recreation Development Officer, Mike McClure, said the Flow weekend provided the perfect opportunity for those who have always wanted to try a watersport but never had the chance before.
Mike commented, “It was amazing to see all the beginners out enjoying a range of watersports for the first time over the weekend. We are certainly looking forward to seeing these people take part in the follow up training events to develop their skills and hopefully join a club”.
Visit www.FlowNI.com to see a full list of follow up training events that are being offered as part of the campaign and get flowing into your next adventure!
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Get into Watersports with ‘Flow’
Tuesday, 19 April 2016
A new national campaign has just been launched opening up an array of opportunities for local people to get involved in a range of watersports.
‘Flow – Get into Watersports’ is an ideal way for those with no background in watersports to learn the basics under the watchful eye of qualified instructors through taking part in one of the many taster events and follow up training programmes that are being offered.
The campaign is co-funded by The Erasmus Plus programme of the European Union and is a partnership between SportNI and a range of water based National Governing Bodies with the aim of getting more people into watersports in the lead up to the European Week of Sport in September. The campaign kicks off with a weekend of water based activity taster events organised by watersport clubs during the weekend of 14th and 15th May. These events will be closely followed by a series of follow up training events to encourage people to continue in their chosen activity. So even if you can’t attend the taster events you can still get involved by taking part in one of the follow up events that are taking place.
During the taster weekend there will be over twenty clubs based on waterways all over Northern Ireland including the Lagan, Lough Erne, the Foyle and Belfast Lough offering taster events in canoeing, sailing, water skiing and wake boarding, rowing, angling, stand up paddle boarding and diving. The cost of these taster events are being offered at a lower price in order to make them accessible to everyone.
SportNI is one of the leading organisations behind the initiative and their Outdoor Recreation Development Officer, Mike McClure, believes it is a great way for people to get into a water sport and to eventually join a club by commenting “Flow is a wonderful way for people to experience the great natural water resources we have here in Northern Ireland and hopefully by taking part in this campaign it will help develop favourite past-times that participants will take part in for many years to come”.
Visit www.FlowNI.com to see a full list of taster events and follow up training events that are being offered as part of the campaign to get you flowing into your next adventure!
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World Surf Kayaking Championships set for Portrush in 2017!
Thursday, 26 November 2015
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Michelle Knight-McQuillan has welcomed the announcement by the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland (CANI) that Portrush will host the 2017 ‘World Surf Kayaking Championships’.
The event attracts competitors from countries around the world including; Australia, America, Japan, Costa Rica and Europe and competitors from the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is scheduled to run over a nine day period in September 2017 and will welcome visitors, competitors and their families to the north coast.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Michelle Knight-McQuillan said, 'This is great news for the Borough. It offers visitors, competitors and their families an opportunity to enjoy our famous northern Irish hospitality and the beautiful scenery and visitor attractions our Borough has to offer during their stay. It is a wonderful opportunity for young athletes involved in the sport to show the world what potential we have here, to hold such high level competitions on a regular basis and of course to show case their talents!'
Commenting on the announcement the spokesperson for CANI Ashley Hunter said, ‘World class events such as this are only possible through partnership and support from organisations such as Tourism Northern Ireland and Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. We will work closely with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council over the next few years to deliver the event here in Portrush and meet the expectations of the officials, competitors and visitors alike.'
Hunter contiuned, ‘The shoreline in Portrush has been the training ground for previous world class athletes including local men Johnny Bingham and Andy McClelland. These Northern Ireland athletes and the Northern Ireland squad will be hoping for podium finishes. Overall this news is a fantastic opportunity to further promote surf kayaking and canoeing within Northern Ireland and raise the profile of the sport, encouraging more people to get in the water and get involved’.
As a precursor to the World Championships in 2017, Canoe Association of Northern Ireland (CANI) and the Ulster Paddlesurf Club are hosting the ‘British Championships and Home Internationals 2016’ in Portrush. Ashley Hunter commented, 'Hosting the British Championships and the Home Internationals will enable Northern Irish athletes to compete on home waves which will help to prepare them for the World Championships. The 2016 event is a smaller scale event which will enable the organisers and volunteers to test the venue and scoring systems ahead of the world class in 2017.'
For more information on the 2017 ‘World Surf Kayaking Championships’, ‘the British Championships and the Home Internationals’ or canoe sport in Northern Ireland please contact the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland (CANI) on 028 9073 8884 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information relating to what’s on at the north coast, go to www.visitcausewaycoastandglens.gov.uk or telephone, 028 7034 7034.
Festival Lough Erne officially launched
Wednesday, 10 June 2015
The inaugural 'Festival Lough Erne' will take place in Enniskillen throughout the weekend of 19th - 21st June 2015.
Festival Lough Erne will be a celebration of locally produced food and the world renowned Lough Erne, over a busy weekend of fun for all ages.
The Festival is being organised by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council in partnership with local private sector providers and is part funded by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Tourism NI, Lakelands & Inland Waterways and Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.
The Bay City Rollers, starring Les McKeown by arrangement with Joe Gallagher Entertainments, will help to kick off the Festival in spectacular style on the evening of June 19.
Over the course of the weekend the Festival will serve up gourmet dining experiences, a popup restaurant, wine and beer tasting, craft and artisan food, talks and food sector debates and even a Ready, Steady, Cook Off with local celebrities.
The Festival programme will continue onto Lough Erne where a range of water based activities will take place.
Helping to launch the Festival, Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Thomas O'Reilly, said:
"Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is pleased to work in partnership with local private sector providers to bring Fermanagh's first food and water festival to Enniskillen. This initiative was identified through Destination Fermanagh. I am delighted that as a result of this a Committee, representing the hospitality and activity sectors, uniquely placed due to their professionalism and expertise, came together to work in partnership with the Council to deliver the inaugural Festival Lough Erne.
The Council is also grateful to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Tourism NI and Lakelands & Inland Waterways for its financial support towards the running of the Festival.
As Enniskillen is the only island town in Ireland, it is the perfect setting to combine the flavours of a food festival with the excitement and enjoyment of water based activities on the world renowned Lough Erne.
The added value experiences at the Festival such as the arts and crafts, bands and entertainment means Festival Lough Erne really does have something for everybody.
I look forward to welcoming locals and visitors alike to Festival Lough Erne and I hope that this event becomes part of our annual calendar of events attracting visitors to Enniskillen and the wider region in the years to come. The Festival, by showcasing Fermanagh's wonderful cuisine experience, will help to lead us into the Year of Food 2016."
Festival Lough Erne Committee Chairman, Joe Kelly, from Belle Isle School of Cookery, said:
"Festival Lough Erne will showcase local food, promoting high quality local produce and products. We hope the Festival creates a platform for local artisan producers to gain recognition of their products and network with larger providers. All of this, along with entertainment and water based activities, will be available to visitors."
Festival Lough Erne will take place in and around Enniskillen's Broadmeadow and the newly developed Castle Basin area.
The centrepiece to the Festival's tented village will be Giant Hat Tipis, the design of which are based on the tents used by the reindeer herding Sami people of Lapland. Constructed using wooden poles and light-coloured canvas, the Giant Hat Tipis will create a visual spectacle and atmospheric setting to showcase local foods.
Festival Lough Erne will also launch 'Fermanagh's Larder'; a collective of Fermanagh based producers, chefs, home cooks, bakers, butchers and brewers at the very heart of Fermanagh's blossoming good food culture.
For further information on Festival Lough Erne and to book tickets please visit www.FestivalLoughErne.com or telephone Fermanagh Visitor Information Centre on 028 6632 3110
Image: Cllr Errol Thompson, Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council's Regeneration & Community Committee, Louise Milsopp, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Terry McCartney, Tourism NI, Cllr Thomas O'Reilly, Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Katrina McGirr, Lakelands & Inland Waterways, Joe Kelly, Festival Committee Chairman and Noel McMeel, Festival Committee Member
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Could you be a future Olympic star?
Friday, 8 May 2015
Do you have what it takes?
Could you be a future Olympic star?
The Canoe Association of Northern Ireland are looking for individuals to join the Canoe Sprint and Canoe Slalom Performance Squads.
Join them on the 21st June at Craigavon Watersports Centre from 10am to 4pm to test yourself and see could you be our next Olympic Champion.
To participate you must be:
- Aged 10-18
- Love being outdoors
- Have basic paddling experience
- Not afraid of getting wet
- Ready to commit to a long term training programme.
The whole day will only cost £10 and that includes use of all the equipment, although if you have your own wetsuit please bring it.
Book now as spaces are limited by visiting www.cani.org.uk and download an application form or alternatively phone 028 9073 8884
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Life Adventure Centre Wins Silver Award for Responsible Tourism
Wednesday, 22 April 2015
Life Adventure Centre, located in Castlewellan Forest Park, picked up a Silver Award at the inaugural Irish Responsible Tourism Awards in Dublin last week.
With an expert judging panel of renowned travel writers, tourism lecturers and sustainability practitioners, these national awards are designed to seek out and celebrate some of Ireland’s most innovative tourism businesses and showcase organisations demonstrating best practice in their field.
Life Adventure Centre, which prides itself on a steadfast ethos of delivering sustainable outdoor adventure activities, particularly impressed judges by demonstrating how it employs strong principles of Leave No Trace and Fair Trade through across all aspects of the organisation.
Using renewably produced electricity, biomass heating and multi-seat vehicles to reduce fuel consumption and carbon output, Life recorded a 20% growth last year and Company Director, Martin McMullan, believes that this growth demonstrates how, contrary to popular belief, being ‘green’ isn’t necessarily expensive and can in fact help to boost business.
Martin explains, “Our focus is always on improving the service we provide to our customers and our experience has shown that opting to run our centre responsibly plays a major part in the overall customer experience. Our centre strives to be truly responsible which means considering every aspect of the business, not just from an environmental perspective, with the social and economic impact being equally as important. Positive feedback received year on year helps to let us know that we’re getting things right and the efforts we go to are of value and appreciated by customers as well as helping shape future development.”
Martin continues, “We’re delighted to win Silver and be recognised in these prestigious national awards”
Other Northern Irish providers recognised in these National Responsible Tourism Awards include Tory Bush Cottages which were awarded Silver in the Best Small Hotel or Accommodation category and Orchard Acre Farm which won a Silver Award for Best Local Food Initiative.
Bookings Now Open for NI Adventureland Weekend
Friday, 27 February 2015
Online bookings have just opened for the fifth Northern Ireland Adventureland Weekend which is due to take place on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th March. The weekend brings together a large range of outdoor activity providers who will be offering taster sessions, courses and thrilling adventures to the public at a reduced price.
During the course of the weekend there will be twenty-five activity providers offering over fifty outdoor activity events for people to come and try including canoeing, climbing, mountain biking and zorbing, to name just a few. No previous experience is required and for this one weekend only all events are being offered at either half price or just £10 per person.
Stephen Clements, presenter of Citybeat’s Breakfast Show, who helped to launch the campaign with his daughter Poppy, is encouraging everyone to take part and commented “Adventureland Weekend is a wonderful way for people to get out and about in Northern Ireland with their mates or with their families to experience an outdoor activity they might never have tried before. It’s all about having fun and it doesn’t matter what age you are or what your ability level is as there are activities to suit all ages and abilities.”
All events taking place have been chosen to ensure they appeal to a wide spectrum of people and ages. Families can try their hand at a number of different outdoor activities, including climbing in Belfast to sea safaris on the North Coast as well as canoeing in Castlewellan Forest Park and surfing at Portstewart Strand. Whereas groups of friends and couples can enjoy energetic wake-boarding with the iconic Titanic Belfast building as their backdrop, sea kayaking on stunning Strangford Lough, wet bouldering in the Mournes or experience the excitement of mountain biking just outside Cookstown.
Northern Ireland Adventureland Weekend has been organised by OutdoorNI and Tourism Northern Ireland to try and get as many people as possible outdoors enjoying activities. To see the many events on offer make sure to check out OutdoorNI.com/adventureland to start planning your next adventure!
Who will be crowned The Best of the Fresh Waters? ??
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
The Fresh Waters campaign is launching its search to find ‘The Best Of’? the four Fresh Waters river towns. These awards are calling on visitors and locals to nominate their favourite place within Portglenone, Drumaheglis, Belturbet and Kilrea; so that hidden gems and well-deserved service and product providers are rightfully rewarded for their role in promoting the beauty of the River Erne and the Lower Bann.
These awards are set to coincide with the close of the RIVER project; a £1.2m initiative which brought significant investment to the four Ulster river towns. Funded by the European Union under the INTERREG IVA programme and managed by the North East Partnership (NEP), this scheme has regenerated many parts of the Lower Bann, River Erne and their neighbouring towns, by improving and enhancing the facilities on offer.
The Fresh Waters campaign, launched as part of the RIVER project, has been an active driver in growing awareness of the rivers and surrounding towns. As a result, the campaign has revitalised a whole new tourism sector and today, the Fresh Waters’ towns in and around Portglenone Marina, Drumaheglis, Belturbet and Kilrea are being explored by new faces and revisited by those that have fallen in love with what they have to offer.
So whether it is your favourite eating establishments, accommodation providers, beauty spots, geological points of interest and/or heritage attractions, we want to know why they deserve to be crowned ‘The Best of’. Simply email email@example.com and explain why your attraction deserves to win in no more than 100 words, by Friday 15th November. The categories will be broken down into The Best of; Portglenone, Kilrea, Belturbet and Drumaheglis/Ballymoney.
To find out more information, please log onto to The Fresh Waters Official Facebook page Facebook.com/thefreshwaters or follow @the_freshwaters on Twitter.
Improved Canoe Access at Drumaheglis
Monday, 13 October 2014
The Lower Bann Canoe Trail has received another boost as Ballymoney Borough Council has announced the completion of the new floating pontoon jetty incorporating canoe access at Drumaheglis Marina and Caravan Site.
The project, costing £37,000, received £20,000 funding through DCAL’s 2013/14 Water Recreation Grant Programme and replaces the old sub-standard jetty.
Contractor, Deane Public Works, a company experienced in marine and river work has provided a superb new facility which is a great asset for water sports enthusiasts on the Lower Bann.
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