Established in 1981, Foyle Paddlers Canoe Club (FPCC) has been going from strength to strength. The club consists of over 100 active members, paddling the lakes, rivers and coast lines of the North West. From the outset, the aim of the club was selfless – “to provide quality coaching, rewarding experiences and white water adventure in an affordable manner to the local and indeed the wider community.” The club also has a very active junior club comprising of 30 some members who learn their basic skills on the Foyle and in Lisnagelvin Pool and then transfer these skills to white water, sea and surf. The club actively organise a range of family orientated trips at both junior and senior level. This includes camping on islands both in Lakeland and on the West coast as well as offering a wide variety of kayak trips to suit members of all levels of ability.
The club is located at Prehen Boat House along the Victoria Road in County Derry, BT47 2AB, just of the A5 road from Derry, opposite the Everglages Hotel.
The club consists of 106 members with a very strong male contingent with 76 male members. The club consists of 43 members under the age of 18, 30 of which are male and 63 members above the ages of 18, with 46 male members. The club has a very strong junior club however, juniors who are hoping to join the club have to be over 8 years old on the 1st of January of that year, and a parent is also asked to join along with them and also attend the junior sessions.
The cost of membership will vary depending on the type of membership which is required;
- Senior Member ship £40 + £8 for Insurance per annum
- Junior Membership £30 per annum
- Family Membership £70 + £8 for insurance per adult per annum
- Concessionary Membership £30 + £8 for insurance per annum
The club has ample equipment for members to use, saving them from having to purchase any equipment themselves. This ranges from various canoes and kayaks as well as wetsuits, booties, buoyancy aid, helmets, cags, paddles, spray decks, rescue equipment and first aid boxes. Members will have to pay for use of this equipment at a rate of £5 per person and a maximum charge of £10 for families. The club can also cater for those individuals who have special needs both mentally and physically. There are coaches who have undergone specific specialized training on how to deal with those members who have disabilities.
The club aims to get each and every one of its members up to a good standard of paddling regardless of the craft they use, with a goal of getting everyone paddling at a 3 star level. During the Spring and Summer months training sessions take place each Wednesday at the River Foyle which is used as the main activity centre. However, training times change in the Winter months. Junior sessions take place each Monday from 15.45 to 16.45 at the Lisnagelvin Leisure complex and their parents have to be present for these sessions. Senior session move to Templemore Training complex on a Thursday night from 20.45 until 21.30. Training session will not be of any cost to members other than the fee to hire the equipment.
The club will organise several trips thought-out the summer months for its members. These trips tend to be to different islands, lakes or on coastal trips. These trips will not cost members anything there than the fee to hire the equipment.
Foyle Paddlers is a recreational club and has been certified with a Clubmark, and it was actually the first club to be granted with a Clubmark. The clubs members will participate in many different disciplines including; canoeing, sea kayaking, river running, kayak surfing and play boating. In an attempt to attract new members to the club, each year during the summer they host a recreational day/Come-Try-It event where new members would come for a paddle in the hope that they will join the club. The club also hosts night paddles for members of the public to come for paddles and experience the river Foyle on full moonlit nights. The club will also run 5 introduction sessions for new members to participate in. This is to allow them to take part in a few sessions so they can decide whether canoeing is indeed for them or not before paying any membership fees.