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Blog ethics Award Winners 2013

Posted on January 15, 2014 @ 12:22 PM in Adventure

Awards season has officially started, no we’re not talking about the Golden Globes, the winners have been announced for the 2013 Awards in association with Surf Mountain! With 1500 votes cast by the public on’s Facebook Page, the awards were the biggest and best yet with the nominees battling it out throughout December to win the coveted titles.  We are now pleased to announce that the wait is finally over and without further ado we give you your 2013 Award winners. 

OutdoorNI Awards 2013 

Best Coastal Experience –Activity Provider offering the best outdoor activity exploring the Northern Ireland Coastline

Kids Big Day Out, Long Line Surf School

The Kids Big Day Out is an initiative which allows kids to spend a whole day on the beach with trained surf instructors and life guards.  From surf lessons to swimming, and beach games to treasure trails the kids experience beach culture whilst getting outdoors and active.  On receiving the award, owner Dan Lavery explained why he thinks his event has the winning formula, “The ethos behind the surf school and the Kids Big Days Out is all about encouraging young ones to experience surfing as a lifestyle rather than just a sport.  By incorporating fun and education through games and exercise on the shores as well as the water the kids got to make the most of this fantastic beach we have at Benone and I believe this is what keeps them coming back for more”. 

Make sure to keep an eye on Long Line’s events calendar for the next Kids Big Day Out.

Long Line Surf School

Best Charity Challenge Event - The best charity challenge event in Northern Ireland’s outdoors in 2013

Life Style Sports Run in the Dark

Popular charity event, Run in the Dark which is held simultaneously in 5 locations throughout Ireland and the UK won the ‘Best Charity Challenge Event’ for their Belfast event.  Primarily a fundraising event for the Mark Pollock Trust numerous other charities also used the event as a vehicle to raise much needed funds for their own worthy causes.  Event organiser, Patrick Brown from Tughans commented, “To win the Best Charity Challenge Event award is such a fantastic achievement for us and for the event which is now in its 3rd year. We were up against some very well known events, all for worthy causes, so it’s great to have Life Style Sports Run in the Dark recognised by the public as being the best charity challenge event in Northern Ireland”.

For more information and details of how to sign up to the 2014 event visit

Best Family Activity Provider - The activity provider offering the best family experience

Alive Surf School 

This popular category created some stiff competition for Alive Surf School but they were still able to rise to the top to win the award for the third consecutive year.  When asked about the secrets behind the success of Alive Surf School, founder Ricky Martin explained, “The surf school originated from a love of surfing so to me and my team its not just about running a business but it’s about introducing others to the world of surfing in a fun and passionate atmosphere with the aim of getting more and more people hooked to the sport”

With lessons available for all ages from 5 years old get your family together and hit the waves with Alive Surf School.

Best Unique Outdoor Experience - The most unique outdoor experience in Northern Ireland's outdoors in 2013

Segway NI Titanic Tours 

 Fresh from winning Best Newcomer in last years awards, Segway NI continued their success by scooping the Best Unique Outdoor Experience award for their newly launched Segway Titanic Tours.  On receiving the award owner of SegwayNI Wesley Jameson commented, “Our Segway Titanic tours offer visitors a way to see all the key sites where the famous Titanic was built but in a completely unique way onboard their very own two wheeled gliding machine and we believe it is this element that provides an exciting aspect to the tour making it an unforgettable experience”.

Click here for details of how you can experience the Segway NI Titanic Tour first hand

OutdoorNI Awards 2013

Best Thrillseeking Provider - The activity provider offering the best thrill seeking experience for over 16’s

Todds Leap 

With multi activity centre Todds Leap receiving just under a third of all votes, owner Benny Hanlon expressed his delight by commenting, “To win the Best Thrill Seeking Provider award is such a fantastic achievement for me and my team especially when you consider the three other providers that we were up against.  Todds leap is Ireland’s number one activity centre with over twenty five thrilling activities and thanks to over 25,000 visitors last year we thrive to keep it there. Many thanks to all who voted for us”.

Click here to find out how you can get your adrenaline pumping on a day out at Todds Leap.  You can also check out our blog ‘OutdoorNI does Motorsports Madness’ for a first hand account.

Best Glamping Experience - The best place to experience Glamping in Northern Ireland in 2013

Castle Ward Camping Pods, National Trust

With the new craze of ‘Glamping' or glamorous camping sweeping Northern Ireland we had to have this new category for 2014.  Jacqueline Baird from the National Trust explained why she believed the pods have been so popular  “Our glamping pods not only offer visitors a unique way to spend a night or short break but also allow those who stay in them to have an unforgettable experience in the great outdoors, without having to give up all of their home comforts!”. 

Click here for details of how you can spend a unique night away in the stunning Castle Ward 820 acre and experience the fantastic outdoor activities on offer.

Best Challenge Event - The best mass participant challenge event in Northern Ireland’s outdoors in 2013

Mourne Way Marathon, 26 Extreme 

The Mourne Way Marathon takes place annually in June with participants able to choose from a 10k right up to a grueling 52 mile ultra marathon all set within the Mournes Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  On wining the award Ian Cummings from 26 Extreme expressed his delight by commenting, “To win the Best Challenge Event award is such a fantastic achievement for us and for the event which is now in its 6th year. We believe that a combination of aspects set our event apart such as offering a variety of race distances, a dedicated support team on the day and simply unparalleled scenery here in the Mourne Mountains.”

For more information and details of how to sign up to the 2014 event visit the 26 Extreme Website.

OutdoorNI Awards 2013

Most Popular Outdoor Recreation Trail - The best DIY outdoor activity trail in Northern Ireland

Lough Erne Canoe Trail 

Situated in Fermanagh’s famous lakelands the 50 kilometre Canoe Trail spanning both Upper and Lower Lough Erne triumphed as the best Do It Yourself activity trail in NI.  Chris Scott from Outdoor Recreation NI, the organisation behind the development of the trail commented, “We believe the success of the trail lies in it’s ability to suit such a wide range of skill levels. Parts of the trail are ideal for families or those embarking on their first canoe trip and at the other end of the spectrum; certain areas can be challenging and are best left to the experts.”

Click here to find out how you can get paddling on the Lough Erne Canoe Trail.  You can also check out the blog ‘Lough Erne Canoe Trail What an Adventure’  for a first hand account.

The sponsor of the awards, Surf Mountain founder Nick Stevenson also had a few words to say, “We at Surf Mountain have always prided ourselves on being from Northern Ireland. All our staff our outdoor enthusiasts and so we were delighted to have the opportunity to support local events, progressive outdoor providers and venues such as the Lough Erne Canoe Trail. All the category winners and indeed nominees should be incredibly proud of their achievements this year.” would like to extend a massive congratulations to everyone who won and a big thank you to all those who took the time to vote.   



Sarah Nelson
Sarah Nelson  Marketing Officer

Sarah joined the marketing team of Outdoor Recreation NI in 2011. A firm believer in giving anything a go at least once (unless it involves jumping out of a plane at 6,000ft!) she is always looking for new adventures in the outdoors and can often be found wandering the Mournes or Glens of Antrim attempting not to get lost!

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