Martin McAlindenMichael AndersonPeter Mulholland
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Last Chance to Get Wet in 2019

Posted on August 8, 2019 @ 11:16 AM in AdventureCanoeing

As we approach the end of summer (parents rejoice; children despair!), the huge number of water sport events from Get Wet are beginning to wind down. But don’t panic – there’s still time left to dip your toe into a potentially life changing new hobby! Dive in with us one last time as we look at “Have a Go” water sports events happening soon.

A Fermanagh extravaganza first! There is loads happening all over Northern Ireland in the next few weeks, but Lough Erne in particular has several events still to be enjoyed:

Stand Up Paddleboarding – Erne Paddlers: Lakeland Forum Canoe Steps, Wed 14th, 21st and 28th August

Erne Paddlers are one of the main clubs to have recognised the huge growth in popularity in stand up paddleboarding. In an hour-long session, you’ll be introduced to the sport via games designed to make you comfortable on a paddle board and gradually develop the skills that will allow you to go solo. At only £15 for non-members, this event is fantastic value – just make sure you book in advance.

 

Inclusive Paddles – Erne Paddlers: Lakeland Forum Canoe Steps, Thurs 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th August

Inclusive Paddles - Erne Paddlers

A brilliant opportunity to get the whole family out on the water and enjoying the incredible scenery of the Erne. These sessions are uniquely designed to cater for those with and without physical/learning/extra needs. All equipment will be provided for you – your job is just to enjoy yourself!

 

Learn to Paddle – Erne Paddlers: Lakeland Forum Canoe Steps, Monday 12th, 19th, 26th August

Intended for those who want to try out paddling for the first time – no experience necessary. Learn to paddle and build confidence in an enjoyable step by step way that will improve as you move on to the river, sea, surf, polo and more!

Don’t worry if you don’t live in the Lakeland County though – there are plenty of other events happening elsewhere, such as:


Rowing – Lagan Curraghs: Stranmillis Mooring Dock, Sat 10th and 17th August

Lagan Curraghs’ weekly rows through Belfast have consistently proven to be one of the most popular events with newbies to water sports. Participants say that in addition to the fun of rowing and the health benefits of a good workout, even the act of being in a traditional curragh boat is a brilliant experience. Their final Saturday row takes place on Saturday 17th August and booking is advisable.

 

Bright Night Sailing – Donaghadee Sailing Club: Donaghadee Sailing Club, Shore Street, Fri 9th, 16th and 23rd August

RYA Bright Night Sailing

Sailing is another sport that has exploded in popularity in recent years. Donaghadee offer a free two-week trial period for 8-17-year-olds, which is perfect for those curious to head out on the water and give it a go. Learning some of the basics while having great fun with like minded juniors is the perfect way to finish up the summer months and there’s even a BBQ held in the club after the session. What more could you want!

Bright Night Sailing is also available from County Antrim Sailing Club throughout August for 8-17-year-olds.


Sculling – Lagan Scullers: No. 8 Lockview Road, Belfast, Sundays in September

Lagan Scullers

Rowing’s more challenging sibling. Sculling is a fantastic way to keep fit and this 4-week course is ideal for introducing newcomers to the sport. Feel the sleek boat glide through the water underneath you and enjoy being part of a team learning new skills. Using a rowing machine to begin, you’ll soon be brought onto the boat to learn the importance of synchronicity on the water, as well as how to launch, turn, stop and recover boats.

 

For a full list of the water sports events taking place between now and September, check out the GetWetNI website, or follow us on our GetWetNI Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kerry Kirkpatrick
Kerry Kirkpatrick  Assistant Marketing and Events Officer

A true North Coast water baby, happiest when on the beach.

Why to Get Involved in Get Wet NI

Posted on July 4, 2019 @ 1:33 PM in AdventureCanoeing

The Get Wet NI campaign is an ideal way for those with no background in watersports to learn the basics under the watchful eye of qualified instructors – this is done through taking part in taster events ran by local clubs in Northern Ireland. Here’s why you should get involved!

  1. Learn a New Watersport: there is a whole range of new and exciting watersports for you try, from water-skiing to canoeing to stand-up paddleboarding (and much more!). The activities are suitable for all abilities, no matter what your interest is.
  2. Events are Free or at a Reduced Price: most of the events included in Get Wet NI are either free or at a reduced cost, making now the perfect time to get out on the water!
  3. Opportunity to Make Friends and Join a Club: all Get Wet events are organised by watersports clubs in Northern Ireland, meaning you have the option after your session to join up to the club and get involved in regular events and sessions.

 

Upcoming Get Wet Events to Get Involved in:

Big Bann Canoe Challenge | Saturday 17th – Sunday 18th August | Lower Bann River from Portglenone to Drumaheglis 

This event is a fun two day paddle on the beautiful Lower Bann River from Portglenone to Drumaheglis in canoes or kayaks, with overnight camping at Movanagher Lock.

 

Raft Race in Aid of RNLI | Saturday 20th July, 1pm – 3pm | County Antrim Yacht Club, 1 Marine Parade, Whitehead

Raft Race on 20 July in aid of the RNLI. It also incorporates an Open Water Swimming Race and Canoe/Rowing Race, with fun for the family ashore with music and BBQ.

 

4 Week Rowing Course for Beginners | Sunday 4th August for four weeks, 10am – 11.30am | Lockview Road, Belfast

This four-week course for beginners is aimed at improving your basic rowing skills and confidence in a fun and safe way. A great way to get into the fantastic sport of rowing, meet new people and learn new skills.

 

Alive Surf School Surf Club | Sunday 7th July – 18th August fortnightly, 10am – 3pm | West Strand Beach, Portrush 

Join this fortnightly Surf Club and progress your skills and ocean knowledge on a regular basis. A two-hour surf lesson with all equipment included (wetsuits, surfboards, changing rooms, warm showers and a drink and a snack for afterward) for only £10.

 

Check out GetWetNI and our Facebook page to stay updated and book onto your favourite events!

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Kerry Kirkpatrick
Kerry Kirkpatrick  Assistant Marketing and Events Officer

A true North Coast water baby, happiest when on the beach.

An Incredible Fundraising Story from This Year's Giant's Causeway Coast Sportive

Posted on June 14, 2019 @ 11:16 AM in AdventureCycling

We caught up with Kathy, who contacted us at the Giant's Causeway Coast Sportive with the incredible story of seven friends who are raising money for a very special cause.

 

Hi Kathy, thanks for speaking with us today. You and your 6 friends have been doing some fundraising this year – can you tell us more about that and why you decided to take part in the Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive?

We are all school mums who met a few years ago and someone suggested we start a Book Club. So we did, meeting every Wednesday morning in Ballyhackamore, East Belfast. Occasionally we would share a book but mostly it’s just coffee & sharing chat. At one of these mornings we learned the devastating news that Julie was ill. She elected to go to the Christie in Manchester for treatment, and they really provided light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

We continued to meet every Wednesday, sharing a lot of laughter and a lot of tears too. However, after gruelling chemotherapy treatments and, despite her iron will she was not able to pull through and very sadly passed away in February this year. The Book Club girls were looking for a way to honour her memory and raise funds for the Christie so we decided to sign up to the Sportive 2019. Julie loved spending time on the North Coast so this challenge felt just right.




That’s incredibly sad to hear Kathy – your fundraising really is incredible and it’s such an amazing thing to do! Is there somewhere we can find out more about this and donate to your cause?

Our Just Giving is https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ForJulieMcKH?sfns=mo Here you can read our back story to this fundraising effort and donate.

 

Thanks Kathy, we’ll be sure to check it out! Have any of your group ever taken part in the Sportive before?

Two of us (Kathy & Poppy) completed the 35 mile route in 2017 & 2018 and have signed up to the new 60mile route. Jennie, Mary, Maxine & Suzanne (Julie’s eldest Daughter) are novice cyclists and have signed up for 35 miles. We also have Cheryl and Lynda, the support team providing cheers and jelly beans along the way!

 

It’s great to see you come back and also to welcome your friends for the first time – I’m sure they’ll have a fantastic experience. What are you looking forward to most on the day?

We’re looking forward to the beautiful route along the Coast Road past Ballintoy, Whitepark Bay and on past the Bushmills Distillery. We must remember to smile at the camera in the Dark Hedges! 

We chose this Sportive as it is safe, well organised and marshalled, it’s all-inclusive and open to all abilities. This is not a race for us, and we’ll be enjoying every moment taking in all the sights and sounds. The camaraderie and support from the more professional cyclists was much appreciated and I hope we’ll be supported again.

 

That’s what it’s all about – enjoying the amazing scenery and having fun with the other cyclists. What made you take the jump up to the 60 mile route after having previously ridden the 35?

We decided to take on the 60 mile route as a new challenge, a step into the unknown! We have been training most weekends for the past few months and just hope we’ve done enough!

Hopefully all of your training pays off! Finally I have to ask – are you going to tackle Torr Head!?

Torr Head you ask? Never say never!

 

Maybe you’ll be persuaded on the day! Thanks very much for sharing your story with us Kathy :) We'll see you on the 22nd!

 

Julie's Crew (L-R): Mary, Maxine, Poppy, Cheryl, Suzanne, Jennie, Kathy

Keep an eye out for Kathy and her friends on the day – they’ll be wearing special t-shirts made for the day with their friend Julie’s photograph on the back. To find out more information about their fundraising and donate to their cause visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ForJulieMcKH?sfns=mo 

Dominic Lyttle
Dominic Lyttle  Assistant Marketing Officer

Dominic has recently joined the ORNI team following completion of a MSc in Marketing from Queen’s University Belfast.

In his spare time, Dominic enjoys trekking, travelling to new and exciting places, and playing basketball, alongside drinking far too much coffee!

Training Advice from Cycling Expert Dig Deep Coaching

Posted on May 31, 2019 @ 6:09 PM in AdventureCycling

With only three weeks to go until the big day, your training will really be paying off now. In this month’s blog, Dig Deep Coaching training expert Stephen has responded to some of the questions you’ve been sending in. Better still, he recorded a live video detailing everything you need to know about training for the Sportive. You can still purchase Dig Deep’s training plans here: bit.ly/SportiveTrainingPlans

 

In Stephen’s live video he talks through a whole range of subjects including training, nutrition and equipment, and much more! Check out the live video on our Facebook page now!

 

Coming from a different sport:

If you go to the gym 2-3 times a week or go out running 2-3 times week, now is the time to really start focusing more on getting out cycling.

 

Do you need a specific bike to take part in the Giant's Causeway Coast Sportive?
Nope! Participants can take part on a normal road bike, mountain bike, fat bike, E-bike, Mary Poppins bike - any bike you'd like!

 

How far on a cycling training programme should I be doing to get up to distance for the day? I’m signed up for the 85 mile/100km route and it’s my first time doing this type of cycling.

I would suggest that you are completing 60-70mile training rides without too much fatigue in the 4-5 weeks prior to the event. If you can be at this level then I would have confidence you can complete the 85mile route on the day.

 

The 115 miles, is it a tough course? It’s my first time doing this one!

The course is hard but so is the amount of time you will spend in the saddle. The biggest factors doing this distance is the terrain and how you hydrate and refuel. Make sure you keep energy levels topped up so you can tackle Torr Head at the end the best way possible.

 

Anything that would help with hill climbing would be greatly appreciated. I will always make it to the top but just so much slower than everyone else. I would be strong on the flat.

Climbing is all about general fitness and technique, to improve in both of these areas I would advise riding hills as much as possible in training. Not only to improve fitness but confidence. Look at increasing your cadence on climbs, get used to riding at a good rhythm and set out your own pace and don’t get too concerned about others, ride to your own limit and not others, as this will see your legs fall off later in the ride.

 

Any good advice for stretching? Pre or post ride?

I am a big believer in foam rollers, these are really good to help get the body ready for a long day in the saddle and help loosen out the muscles post ride. 15-20min a day on this will make a big difference.

 

Is the 35 mile route really hilly, and would I need to get loads of practise in?

The 35 mile route isn’t very hilly but there are a few reasonably tough climbs, the most notable being on the road after Bushmills. This Garmin link has the elevation chart on it: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/14818557

For the 35 mile, we would suggest doing 10-15 miles pretty consistently over the last few months and that you attempt at least one ride of around 20 miles prior to the start of the event to make sure you're comfortable with that distance. If you are within this range, then you should be fine to complete the 35mile route. The more training you can do, the better it will be on the day. Also, it depends if you do any other sports.

The two most important things to keep in mind for the last three weeks before the event are:

  • Stay healthy, including staying hydrated and eating healthily
  • Stay injury free

 

Try to strike a balance with your training so you’re not training too much or too little so as not to derail all the hard work you’ve put in.

 

To keep up with all things Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

 

Dominic Lyttle
Dominic Lyttle  Assistant Marketing Officer

Dominic has recently joined the ORNI team following completion of a MSc in Marketing from Queen’s University Belfast.

In his spare time, Dominic enjoys trekking, travelling to new and exciting places, and playing basketball, alongside drinking far too much coffee!

Get Involved in Watersports at Get Wet NI’s 2019 Taster Weekend

Posted on May 9, 2019 @ 2:53 PM in AdventureCanoeing

Make a splash and try something new this May as part of Get Wet NI 2019. Clubs from across Northern Ireland are offering watersport sessions for just £20 or less on Sat 11th & Sun 12th May. With no experience necessary and all of the equipment provided, there has never been a better time to get out on the water!

 

For the Adrenaline Junkies:

Learn to Waterski/Wakeboard With the Experts, Meteor Water Ski Club, Lough Henney, Bresagh Road, Sun 12th May, £15 for under-18’s & £20 for 18+

Come and try water skiing or wakeboarding in a safe and controlled environment!

Alive Surf School Surf Club, Alive Surf School, West Strand Beach Portrush, Sun 12th May, £10, annual membership for £60

Come for a taster surf session with award winning surf instructors in Portrush!

Kayak Marathon Race, Belfast Canoe Club, Lower River Bann at Portna Lock, Kilrea, Sun 12th May, £9

Compete with or watch the best racing canoeists in Ireland!

Day Out with the Family:

Give Rowing a GoPortavogie Coastal Rowing Club, Portavogie, Sat 11th May, £3

Have a splash on the water and try your hand at rowing on their St. Ayles Skiff boat on the sea. 

Community Currach Rowing on the River Lagan, Lagan CurrachsRiver Lagan, Stranmillis Mooring Dock, Governors Bridge, Belfast, Sat 11th & Sun 12th May, £5

Join the Lagan Currachs on their community built traditional currach and experience being part of a mixed age and abilities crew as they row the River Lagan.

Have a Go Rowing in KircubbinThe Black Neb Rowing Club, Lockview Rd Belfast, Sat 11th & Sun 12th May, Free

Experience the fun sport of community coastal rowing, in a traditional locally-built St Ayles Skiff boat.

Fun with Friends

Try Rowing with Lagan ScullersLagan Scullers, Lockview Rd Belfast, Sun 12th May, £5

Feel the sleek boat glide through the water underneath you and enjoy being part of a team learning new skills. See Belfast from the river!

St. Ayles Skiff Rowing for BeginnersKillyleagh Coastal Rowing Club, Killyneagh at the Netwalk, Sun 12th May, £2

Enjoy Strangford Lough from the water with Killyleagh Coastal Rowing Club.  

Have a Go Row Dundrum, Dundrum Coastal Rowing Club, Castlewellan Forest Park, Sat 11th & Sun 12th May, £3

A great way to have fun and keep fit. Get instruction on rowing from the current Skiffie World Champions and find out about the fun events and challenges you could be taking part in.

 

Push the Boat Out (Try Sailing):

Push the Boat Out: Try Sailing Taster DayCarrickfergus Sailing Club, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim, Sat 11th May, Free 

A great opportunity to get out on the water for free and try your hand at sailing! 

Push the Boat Out: Sailing & Kayaking Taster Sessions for Adults And ChildrenCounty Antrim Yacht Club, Whitehead Promenade | Marine Parade, Whitehead, Sat 11th May, Free

Free taster-sessions give you the chance to experience crewing a sailing dinghy or taking a sit-on kayak out for a paddle. 

To check out more events taking place, and to keep updated throughout the summer check out GetWetNI.com and follow us on Facebook.

This campaign has been funded by Sport Northern Ireland, with support from the National Governing Bodies of watersports in Northern Ireland.

Dominic Lyttle
Dominic Lyttle  Assistant Marketing Officer

Dominic has recently joined the ORNI team following completion of a MSc in Marketing from Queen’s University Belfast.

In his spare time, Dominic enjoys trekking, travelling to new and exciting places, and playing basketball, alongside drinking far too much coffee!

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