On Saturday 28th may, Co Antrim Paddle Sports club (CAPS) ran their canoe come and try it event at Portglenone marina on the beautiful lower Bann river. We promoted the event as being suitable for all ages, and aimed especially at families. As a result, a large proportion of those taking part were families, and from a total of 64 participants, 23 were children. We were delighted at the response to our advertising for the event, which resulted in a capacity group, but we had to turn many people down! Almost all were new to canoeing.
The weather on the day was perfect as our team of volunteers, consisting of coaches from the CAPS club and a crew from Portglenone Community Rescue Service, arrived at Portglenone marina. The day consisted of 2 sessions – one in the morning, one in the afternoon – during which everyone was given a short talk on paddling basics before setting off upriver to enjoy the beauty of the river and it’s wildlife enroute to the Portglenone forest. Everyone enjoyed a break at the forest and time for a picnic and a walk, before the return paddle. A barbeque was set up to give everyone a burgers and hot dog at lunch time, and this recharged our great team before they received the people taking part in the afternoon session.
Everyone had a wonderful day, with smiles on everyone’s faces, many compliments and requests of ‘how can we do this again?’ As a result, we’ve already had requests to join our club, and I’ve no doubt that several of the people who took part will also take part in our Big Bann Canoe Challenge on 20th – 21st August.
Many thanks to all who helped make our event so successful :-
Waterways Ireland (our main sponsor)
Henderson group (Spar) and Gillaroo Lodge nursing home for supplying the BBQ food and cook manager, Jenny, to cook it!
The Rose Cafe, Portglenone, for the free ice creams and cut price frys for everyone
Community Rescue Service for their boats and support
Mid and East Antrim Council
And last but definitely not least, our brilliant team at C.A.P.S.!