What is the 'Paddles Up' Programme?
The 'Paddles Up' Programme is a joint initiative with Sport Ireland, Canoeing Ireland and Local Sports Partnerships along the waterways that involves getting transition years students out on our waterways in a safe way.
Beginning in 2015 the programme has grown from strength to strength, with just under 200 students taking part in 2017. Students from schools in Leitrim, Cavan and Dublin engaged in a 6 week paddling programme earning their Level 1 & 2 skills certification from Canoeing Ireland. At the end of the programme the schools were invited to come together and try out their new skills on the Shannon-Erne Blueway. Starting at Ballyconnell, paddling all the way to Aghalane with a pit stop for lunch at Lock 1.
Pictured above organising committee (L-R: Joe Gillespie, Waterways Ireland Northern Regional Manager, Damien McWeeney, Waterways Ireland Events Programme Manager, Dawn Livingstone, Waterways Ireland Chief Executive, Sport Ireland, Declan Boyle, Leitrim Sports Partnership, Nadine McCormilla, Cavan Sports Partnership, James O'Reilly, Canoeing Ireland, Garret McGrath, Waterways Ireland Senior Engineer
Why should my school take part?
- Kayaking is a great form of physical exercise, outdoor recreation has been shown to have many health benefits.
- Helps teach young people about water safety.
- At the end of the programme children will have earned their Level 1 and Level 2 kayak skills certification from Canoeing Ireland.
- Gets children thinking about and exploring their local waterways.
- It's FUN!
How can I get involved?
We hope to further grow this programme in the 2017/18 school year. If you are working a school along one of our waterways and would like to get involved please get in touch with your Local Sports Partnership