Mary KellyAshley HunterMickey Regan
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Get Ready to Get Wet in 2021!

Posted on May 20, 2021 @ 4:50 PM in AdventureCanoeingBeachesLocal Outdoors

Get Wet NI

 

The average person would have jumped at any opportunity to get outdoors in a fun setting this time last year, let alone doing it with other people and the ability to learn a new skill! Covid-19 has fundamentally shifted our relationship with the outdoors and created a new appreciation for the ability to do things, to enjoy ourselves and savour life.

It is the perfect time then, to GetWet – a campaign intended to introduce people to watersports in a fun and educational way. GetWetNI kicks off from the end of May with a series of free or much reduced cost taster events throughout Northern Ireland, and will run throughout the remainder of the summer. Below, we’ve listed just a few of the ones we think you might be interested in! But feel free to check them all out on our website, GetWetNI.com.

Girls in Angling

Camowen Community Anglers are running a free session on angling at Altmore Fishery in Co. Tyrone on Sunday 30th May.

 

All equipment is provided for you on the day, you just need to bring your own wellies and waterproof gear. Better still, the organisers are running a competition and have prizes to be won throughout the day! If you’re interested in attending, it runs between 11am and 3pm; just drop them an email to camowenanglers@gmail.com

Quoile Yacht Club Taster Events

The Quoile Yacht Club in Downpatrick are running multiple taster events that include dinghy sailing, paddle boarding, canoeing, and cruising. If this doesn’t get you excited, we’re not sure what will! The day is suitable for anyone from the age of 8 up (with under 16s requiring a parent or guardian to be present), and will be lead by qualified instructors.

Again, this event is completely free so you’ll never have a better opportunity to experience these incredible watersports than this. Sessions run between 11am and 12:30pm, 12:30pm and 2pm and 2pm and 3:30pm, and you’ll be able to speak to members and officers of the club throughout the day as well.

To get involved in the day, simply email info@quoileyachtclub.com and indicate your preferred session time, how many people are in your party and if any are under 18 and provide a contact mobile number for yourself.

 

Sculling for Water Enthusiasts

Lagan Scullers Club are offering the chance to try your hand (both hands actually, and your arms… also your legs) at rowing in the Lagan, again providing an amazing opportunity to both develop a new skill, get some good exercise in and also see Belfast from a completely different perspective.

A little bit of ‘water confidence’ is needed for this course as, to reduce physical proximity, you’ll be in a single boat, with a coach in another boat just alongside you to keep you right.

The sessions themselves are limited to only 4 places per day so the spots will book up fast. With only four places, it means you’ll be receiving a significant amount of training over the two hours (one of which you’ll spend in the water, the other out of the water). You’ll get to see the variety of boats on offer, try the rowing machine, learn the different rowing movements and then – how to control your boat on the water! These sessions are £10 and will run every Sunday throughout June. To book, email lscullers@hotmail.com

 

Try Kayak Racing

Belfast Canoe Club are the only club in Northern Ireland currently offering tuition in the Olympic discipline of kayak racing. Running on Sunday 6th June and Wednesday 9th June, it’s a fast moving, exciting and energetic sport that the people who do it live for. You’ll not be tackling any rapids in this session though, don’t worry. Instead, you’ll be on the placid water of Lough Henney, outside Lisburn which is uniquely suitable for this sport.

During the session, you’ll learn the difference between kayaks and paddles used for racing and ‘normal’ kayaks; the principles of paddling fast as well as then an hour’s coaching on the water.

The training is open to everyone, but the club have advised that their equipment is generally not suitable for children under the age of 10. A maximum of 8 people can attend per session and competent paddlers and those interested in getting involved in racing will have the opportunity to join the club.

To book on, email belfastcanoeclub@gmail.com with your choice of date.

 

Re-Discover Watersports at Cushendall Sailing and Boating Club

This is another extravaganza of different water sports discipline and absolutely not to be missed out on. CSBC are welcoming people to come along to try out sailing, standup paddleboarding, canoeing and sea swimming, all under the eye of qualified instructors and with all equipment supplied. The sessions will run across two days, on Friday 18th June and Saturday 19th June, between 6pm and 8pm both evenings and between 1pm and 3pm on the Saturday afternoon.

In addition to the fantastic watersports opportunities, there will also be a BBQ with firepits on the club patio on both evenings, and the clubhouse bar will be open.

If you’d like to book on, you can do it via the clubs website. Visit www.csbc.co.uk now! 

For more events, head to www.getwetni.com/events 

Kerry Kirkpatrick
Kerry Kirkpatrick  Assistant Marketing and Events Officer

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

5 Reasons You'll Love Wild Adventure Weekend!

Posted on April 3, 2019 @ 3:45 PM in Local Outdoors

Mid Ulster's Wild Adventure Weekend will take place on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th April, all across Mid Ulster. If you haven't heard about it yet, we've listed some of the reasons to get excited for it below!

 

1.       Most of the events are free or at a reduced cost

We all love a good deal. In fact the only thing we love more than a good deal is a freebie! And Wild Adventure Weekend has plenty of both. Some of the free events include bike hire at Davagh Forest MTB Trails, the Angling Taster Experience, Canoe Taster Sessions at Ballyronan Marina, Golf Taster Sessions at Tobermore Golf Centre and any of the countless walking trails available.

Mid Ulster is home to some of the most stunning walking trails in Northern Ireland

There are also deals on events such as Zip Trekking at Todd’s Leap (50% off), Airsoft at Torrent Warfare (reduced to £15pp), MTB Hire at Blessingbourne Estate and a range of activities at The Jungle NI.

 

2.       Events for everyone!

It can be difficult to run an event that fits everyone’s taste. Some events are suitable mostly for the children (such as the Kids Tree Top Adventure at the Jungle NI); others are ideal for people looking for a relaxing and social experience – and others still for people looking to get their next adrenaline kick.

This is one event not suitable for people looking for a relaxing activity

Wild Adventure Weekend however accommodates everyone. Hill walkers can find something to love, whether they’re a complete beginner or a seasoned pro. Adrenaline junkies meanwhile have plenty to keep themselves entertained, whether that’s at Portglenone Paddler’s Introduction to Canoeing and Kayaking, or a Tree Top Adventure with the kids at The Jungle NI.

 

3.       Events are taking place all across Mid Ulster

With so many activities taking place over Wild Adventure Weekend (nearly 40!) the great thing is that nobody will have to travel too far to enjoy an event. One of the benefits of being at the centre of Northern Ireland!

Blessingbourne Estate has beautiful grounds for exploring

Those living in Fermanagh will have events at Blessingbourne Estate at their doorstep, while people travelling from Omagh have the likes of Todd’s Leap and Davagh Forest close by. Coming from the North Coast, your first port of call could be the popular Eagle’s Rock Trail at Moydamlaght Forest or possibly 9 holes and an introductory golf lesson with a PGA pro at Tobermore Golf Centre.

 

4.       Meet new people and make friends

Many of the weekend’s activities are social, whether for yourself or the kids. Events such as the Breagh Tours Low Level Walk will see people from all over coming together to explore the stunning Goles Valley in the Sperrins, with expert tour guide Brendan Adams. For those who fancy something a bit more uptempo, nothing bands together a group of people as quickly as modern urban warfare in the form of Airsoft, which you can try out at Torrent Airsoft’s day of fun.

Airsoft has become an increasingly popular alternative to paintballing

 

5.       Supporting local clubs and businesses

We can often be tempted to look abroad for an adventure; but allow yourself to be surprised by Northern Ireland and explore what your local community has to offer. Local groups such as the Portglenone Paddlers (and plenty of others) run events entirely organised by volunteers, while larger businesses help to attract tourism and bring increased spending to Northern Ireland.

Staff can also provide some reassurance when needed!

 

You can find all the information for Mid Ulster's Wild Adventure Weekend here. Don't forget to book early onto any events that require it, as well as use the #WildAdventureWeekend and #HowFarWillYouGo!

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Ethan Loughrey
Ethan Loughrey  Mountain Bike Officer

Hardest thing about Mountain Biking? Definitely the trees.

Meet the Sponsor: Decathlon, Belfast

Posted on December 18, 2018 @ 11:34 AM in CyclingLocal Outdoors

In the first of a series of upcoming interviews with our event sponsors, we sit down with the main event sponsor of the Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive – Decathlon Belfast. These interviews are intended to help put a ‘face’ to the often-corporate branding, so that our participants know about the strong connection our sponsors have to cycling and the Sportive World.

For Week 1, we sat down with Lee Aston, Belfast Cycles Department Manager from the store.

 

Hi Lee, thanks for speaking to us! Would you mind telling us a bit about your role at Decathlon?

Hi Ethan. So, my role in Decathlon Belfast is that of the Cycles Department Manager. I've been working in the Belfast store for over 2 years now and have a keen interest in most forms of cycling, mostly road and MTB. My role varies from day to day - one day I could be building the countless number of bikes we get into store on a daily basis (especially now at Christmas time when building and selling never stops) or it could be dealing with customers wanting a cycle scheme which is run through their work place and helping them find the perfect bike. I also help out with the different store events we have and sometimes get to take part in them myself. So yeah, my day to day is never really the same if I'm honest.

Some of Decathlon Belfast's impressive cycling stock

 

Sounds ideal for knowing about all things to do with a Sportive! What impressed yourselves about the Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive / prompted you to get involved with it?

What doesn't impress me is the better question! After taking part in the event last year, all be it a bit wet at the start, it was easy to see why it is so popular. The location, the people, how it's set up and the excellent food stops and service stations along the way make it extremely appealing to us as a store. In store we have a large range of road bikes which suit a lot of those who take part in sportives and there is no better way to let people know we have these bikes than sponsor this massive event and spread the brand to all those who take part.

 

Decathlon Belfast are offering an Early Bird Offer – could you tell us a bit about it?

The Early Bird Offer consists of a brake and gear adjustment and a tyre and bolt check. Perfect to get the competitors bikes in tip top shape for whichever of the 4 routes they decide to take on. 

 

What else might people be interested in picking up when they call in store?

Within Decathlon Belfast we have over 70 different sports under one roof, from cycling to hiking to horse riding; we cover all areas. While customers are in buying their cycling essentials for the event like energy gels, co2 canisters and tool kits they may be able to try out a new sport they have never thought about previously. As our moto goes, ‘Decathlon makes sport accessible for the many.’ 

If you're stocking up on your gels, co2 cannisters or multi-tools, Decathlon is the place to go.

 

Have you taken part in the event yourself? If so, what was your favourite part?

Yes I took part in the event last year for the first time. I did the 35mile route and it was outstanding. My favourite part of it was the coast road going towards Bushmills as the views were just excellent (especially once the rain stopped!)

 

One of our photographer's snapped Lee during his route! 

 

Finally, Decathlon Belfast are also providing mechanical support at next year’s event. What does this involve for yourselves?

This will involve myself and the team helping fix punctures, provide gear tune ups and bolt checks along with any other quick fixes we can do there and then to help competitors. We will be on the road in 3 different vehicles along with our support at the event HQ, so nobody has to worry if you get stuck half way round!

 

     

You'll see plenty of Decathlon vans on the day as they respond to any problems riders may have on the course.

 

Thanks for speaking to us Lee! People can find the Decathlon Belfast store on Facebook.

Ethan Loughrey
Ethan Loughrey  Mountain Bike Officer

Hardest thing about Mountain Biking? Definitely the trees.

Watersports Clubs open their doors for Flow

Posted on April 28, 2016 @ 12:21 PM in AdventureCanoeingBeachesLocal Outdoors

Over 20 watersport clubs are opening up their doors and offering local people the opportunity to take part in a range of taster events as part of a new initiative called Flow.

Over the weekend of 14th & 15th May participants will be able to try their hand at canoeing, sailing, water-skiing, wakeboarding, kite surfing, rowing, angling, stand up paddle boarding and diving for as little as £10 or less!

To give you a flavour of what’s happening over the weekend we’ve selected some of our favourite events!

Flow Blog Collage Image

Give Rowing a Try - £2pp
City of Derry Boating Club, Londonderry, 14th & 15th May

Enjoy an introductory rowing session on the River Foyle and be part of a crew learning new skills.

Juniors Try Canoe Polo - £3pp
Belfast Kayak Academy, Belfast, 14th May

Have a go in a kayak on the water and play a game of canoe polo. This will be a fun intro session into a great sport at a state of the art canoe polo facility in Belfast.

Team Selection Trial for Skiffie World Championships - £3pp
Dundrum Coastal Rowing Club, Dundrum, 14th & 15th May

Once in a lifetime opportunity for beginners to compete for a place in the selection squad going to the Skiffie World Championships on home waters on Strangford Lough from 25th – 30th July.

Try Sailing or Kayaking – FREE
County Antrim Yacht Club, Whitehead, 14th May

County Antrim Yacht Club are holding an afternoon of taster sessions from 1.30pm - 5pm for beginners to have a go!

Try Rowing with Lagan Scullers Club - £5pp
Lagan Scullers Club, Belfast, 14th & 15th May

See Belfast from the river and feel the sleek boat glide through the water underneath you as you learn to row.

This is just a taster of what will take place during the weekend of 14th & 15th May. For information on how to book and to see what other events and activities that are taking place visit FlowNI.com

Latest comment posted by Athens Coast on December 30, 2016 @ 12:51 PM

Thanks for sharing this post. It's good news for local people for enjoying watersport clubs. Read more >

Beverley Magowan
Beverley Magowan  Senior Marketing Officer

Beverley used to be a keen horse rider but since joining a local cycle club in 2013 she has developed a passion for 2 wheels instead of 4 hoofs! Meaning she can often be found on a bike exploring the roads across the country!

Must Try Watersports for £10 or Less!

Posted on April 14, 2016 @ 12:54 PM in AdventureCanoeingBeachesLocal Outdoors

Over the weekend of Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th May there will be over 20 watersport clubs based all over Northern Ireland offering local people an opportunity to ‘Have a Go’ in a range of watersports for as little as £10 or less!

With no previous experience necessary and taster events in canoeing, sailing, water skiing, wake boarding, rowing, angling, stand up paddle boarding and diving there has never been a better time to get on the water and get wet!

Flow

Here are just a few of the thrilling activities you could be experiencing:

'Push the Boat Out' Sailing Taster - FREE
Cushendall Sailing & Boating Club, Cushendall, 14th May
Sailing has everything, from being a sociable relaxing experience to a high adrenaline, high action sport. Experience the adrenaline buzz of skimming across the water in a small dinghy or be part of a team in a larger keelboat. Come and ‘have a go’ at Cushendall Sailing & Boating Club for free!

Learn to Paddle your own Canoe - £3pp
Broighter Paddlers Canoe Club, Strathfoyle, 14th May
Learn the fundamentals of how to paddle a canoe and then give the rapidly growing team sport of canoe polo a go in this fun introductory session. A women’s only session is also available from 3pm - 4.30pm, subject to demand.

Discover Kitesurfing on the Beach - £10pp
Irish Kite Surfing Association, Tyrella Beach, 14th & 15th May
Let’s go fly a kite on an introductory session led by qualified kite surfing instructors on dry land. This event will take place on Tyrella Beach and is designed to elevate you into kite surfing! On the day you will be taken through a range of skills and techniques to get you launching your own kite.

Introduction to Fly Fishing for Women – FREE
Irish Ladies Fly Fishing Association, Ballyclare, 14th May
Angling is a male dominated sport but this all-day taster event will give women the chance to find out what it's all about. Taking place at Straid Fishery which is a 20 acre lake, participants will benefit from the presence of some of the 2016 International Ladies Fly Fishing Team being on hand to guide participants.

Row the Lagan – £5pp
Lagan Currachs, Belfast, 14th & 15th May
Enjoy a leisurely row on a traditional wooden boat on the River Lagan finished off with a visit to 'T13' in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast where you will get a guided tour of the build of a 33ft 10 man currach rowing boat.

Learn to Waterski/Wakeboard with the Experts - £10pp
Meteor Water Ski Club, The Temple, 14th & 15th May
Have a go and experience this exhilarating water sport with encouraging instruction given at all times to ensure success.

Stand Up Paddling Taster for Beginners - £5pp
Erne Paddlers, Enniskillen, 14th & 15th May
Take in the scenery around Lough Erne as you try your hand at Stand Up Paddleboarding with Erne Paddlers. This is a fast growing paddle sport providing a great fun core work out with the possibility of getting wet!

These taster events are being offered as part of a wider campaign called ‘Flow – Get into Watersports’. This campaign 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. These taster events will be followed closely by a series of training programmes for those looking to continue in their chosen sport.

With too many to mention make sure to visit FlowNI.com for a full list of the events on offer in your local area.

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Beverley Magowan
Beverley Magowan  Senior Marketing Officer

Beverley used to be a keen horse rider but since joining a local cycle club in 2013 she has developed a passion for 2 wheels instead of 4 hoofs! Meaning she can often be found on a bike exploring the roads across the country!

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