Project 2: Paddling on the Lough
Paddling on the Lough
Project 2: Paddling on the Lough
The Erne Paddlers are an established canoe club operating in Enniskillen, this project, Paddling on the Lough, aims to increase access to the waters of Lough Erne for people of all abilities and ages.
The Erne Paddlers will do this through the purchase of equipment such as canoes, paddle boards etc. to engage a wider audience of participants. The events will be hosted from Castle Island, Enniskillen and will enable participants to learn new skills, explore the lough shore from the water and become part of the club.
Since the start of the project the Erne Paddlers have held 7 open days providing 147 people with an opportunity to access the lough. 18 courses have been provided for volunteer coaches with 95 accreditations received.
John Samman – Volunteering with the Erne Paddlers
Created through support from the Erne Paddlers, a virtual map of the island of Enniskillen has been created, as viewed from the water!
Virtually, as you move around the island town of Enniskillen you can find out more information about features of the town including:
- Enniskillen Castle
- Castle Island
- Enniskillen Townhall
- Coles Monument
- Lakeland Forum
- Round ‘O’
- and many, many more!
Check it out by following the link below: https://visit-tours.com/virtual-tours/virtual-island-paddle/
The Erne Paddlers currently is only supported by one paid member of staff and relies on the support of volunteer coaches to deliver the paddling programme throughout the season.
The team at Erne Paddlers focus on upskilling volunteers providing accredited training courses such as 2- and 3-star Paddle Sport Leader Qualifications.
From the commencement of the scheme the Erne Paddlers have enabled volunteers to successfully attain 95 accredited coaching qualifications. The paddlers are one of the first canoeing organisations to offer a Junior Leader scheme, for under 18s which not only provides them with a qualification but also develops their confidence and interpersonal skills.
Jon Samman, Erne Paddlers coach, took part in the first Juinor Leaders programme as it was being developed and now volunteers to coach all age groups and abilities.
Jon states “I learnt a lot of new skills, grew in confidence, made friends and had the opportunity to see parts of the Lough that people on land will never get to experience. The coaching team are incredibly supportive and are always on hand to provide advice when needed.”
Through the support of LELP the Erne Paddlers have been able to develop and build capacity of the club (with a paid member of staff as well as paddling and safety equipment) to ensure that many can access the Lough Erne and its beautiful surrounds.
In recognition of their dedication to paddling on Lough Erne, volunteer coaches of the Erne Paddlers have received several awards. In 2019, Chole Hamilton (Chair of the Erne Paddlers & Volunteer Coach) was awarded the Fermanagh Herald Disability Coach of the Year and CANI’s Club Coach of the Year.
Furthermore in early 2020 Philippa Bennet was chosen as Disability Coach of the Year as part of the Fermanagh and Omagh Sports Forum Sports Awards 2019.
On the 8th October 2019 Erne Paddlers received 8 new canoes as part of this project.
The new canoes will increase the amount of paddling sessions available and give more people the opportunity to explore Lough Erne.
On the 27th of July 2019 Erne Paddlers hosted their Paddlesport Taster Session.
This taster event was fully booked with over 35 participants. People from the ages of 8 upwards where invited to have a go in a wide range of craft. From warm up games to paddling around the island town of Enniskillen, fun was had by all and the day finished off with a delicious BBQ.
Project partners The Erne Paddlers are delivering an exciting number of courses in April. These courses offer beginners a taste of paddling in the Lough and also offer courses to improve experienced paddlers. The calendar of events offers a number of events which caters for all ages and all abilities.
Events for this month include:
For a full itinerary and further booking information please click here