Annalong Canoe and Kayak club was established by Norman Newell who is now the scout leader for the club and a teacher at Kilkeel high school around 30 years ago.
The club does not have a clubhouse and therefore there is no definite meeting place. Rather the members of the club will arrange a meeting place somewhere in Annalong.
Membership of the club is very cheap, only costing each member £10 per annum. Annalong is a small club consisting of 26 members, who are mostly male members however there are some female members. Most members are adult males however the club does have a good junior section, having 10 members aged between 10 and 20, four of which are female.
The club has ample equipment available for members to use such as boats etc. therefore new members will not have to purchase their own equipment, and the use of this equipment is completely free for members to use. The club will also cater for those members who suffer from disabilities however as they are only a small club they will not have any specialist equipment.
Training sessions take place every Tuesday evening at 8.15pm in Kilkeel swimming pool from October to March. During the summer there will also be a paddle that will take place once a month and members will take part in either sea, white-water, Canadian or surf kayaking, this will however be weather dependent. Beginners are encourages to first come to the pool sessions where they can learn the skills necessary before going out on one of the clubs monthly paddles. Both junior and senior members will take place at the same time and will cost £4 for adults, and £2.50 for juniors. As both sessions run at the same time there will be enough adults to watch over the juniors so their parents do not need to be present when these sessions are taking place however they are more than welcome to come along and watch or even take part.
The club will organise one big trip during the year in which the members will travel to a different region in Europe. In the past the club has travelled to Sweden, Hebrides and the Shetland Islands. However the club will not pay for the trip and it will therefore be at the member’s expense. The club will also have trips away every weekend to different parts of the country for members to participate in.
The club participates in a variety of different disciplines of canoeing and kayaking which includes Canadian, sea, white-water and surf kayaking which all members have the opportunity to take part in. Annalong is purely a recreational club where members meet and paddle purely for fun rather than take part in competitions. As it is purely a recreational club there is no need to hold any “Come-Try-It” days and new members are just encouraged to come along to some of the pool sessions.