Josepha Madigan T.D, Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht together with Waterways Ireland’s Sharon Lavin has met some of the key event organisers in receipt of WI Event Programme Support for 2019. Representatives from Rowing Ireland, Canoeing Ireland, Triathlon Ireland and Athletics Ireland, including respectively CEO Michelle Carpenter, Officer Vicky Guy, Director Kevin Keane and CEO Hamish Adams (in attendance), will roll out multiple events across all the inland waterways in 2019.
These events are among the 120 festivals, activity programmes (involving paddling, running, walking, cycling swimming, angling and sailing) and other events that have been awarded support through the Programme this year. Support varies from operational to promotional provision and limited financial backing. In the 14 years since its inception, over 1000 events and communities have received awards through the Event Programme which have facilitated, engaged and developed communities interest in and use of the waterways. In 2018 the programme awarded 178 events with support resulting in 36,000 participants and 175,000 spectators enjoying the waterway experience, many for the first time.
Minister Madigan said “the Waterways Ireland Event Programme for 2019 is a great example of the many and varied events which Waterways Ireland is supporting throughout the year.
It is also a credit to the many organisations both large and small that have shown initiative and enthusiasm to ensure that these events can take place across our inland waterways”
Sharon Lavin, Head of Marketing, Waterways Ireland confirmed that ‘Waterway communities and activity clubs have been key beneficiaries of the WI Event Programmes. The support provided to the Event Organisers by our Marketing, Operations and Environment teams has been invaluable in expanding their audience, extending their events and growing capacity. The growth in the number of events, the scale and breath of activity and the sustained engagement by groups across the waterways is testament to the effectiveness of this programme.”
Waterways Ireland supports events on the waterways within its remit including River Barrow, Lower Bann, Grand & Royal Canal, Lough Erne, the Shannon-Erne Waterway and the Shannon.
For information on the events taking place on the waterways in 2019 visit www.waterwaysireland.org or HeadIntoTheBlue.org for activity offers and experiences.