CANI News Splash July 2020 Ed.2

Stand Up Paddleboarding Adventures 
By Enda Young, 22nd July 2020

Enda Young on a SUP adventure

I started paddling when I joined the Canoe Club at Queen’s University almost twenty years ago. I’ve rediscovered my passion for the water recently, and when I started the OutdoordadNI initiative

Research has show the direct connection between the outdoors and positive mental health.  Doctor’s in Scotland have started to prescribe nature as a treatment for their patients (see report here), it’s been scientifically proven (for details click herethat spending time in the great outdoors is a powerful natural anti-depressant, and it’s been shown that regular exercise can reduce the risk of depression by 30% (see here).  

Being outside and on the water is by no means the entire answer for positive mental health, but I believe it can be an important part of the solution.   

A stunning view from Enda Young’s SUP

Watching Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) become one of the fastest growing paddle sports in the world over the last few years, I decided to invest in an inflatable board (iSUP).  I had tried out a few boards in the past, but hadn’t really found it that enjoyable. After some research (and realising the importance of the right width and length), I settled on a iRocker Cruiser as my first board. 

Around 80% of SUPs on the market are inflatable and if you are going to invest in one I would highly recommend an electric pump as well (you can be changed by the time the board is ready to paddle). 

Enda Young paddling on the Foyle

Last summer I took part in the “Wave Sweepers” event organised by Far and Wild from the Walled City up the Foyle Estuary to Moville (we were originally aiming for Greencastle but the tide and light beat us in the end).  We managed to paddle about 30km in 6 hours and raised funds for Lighthouse, a local suicide prevention charity.  

Honestly, I’m not sure if I can recommend paddling on any SUP for 6 hours straight, but it was a brilliant event and a great way to see the Foyle!

A unique view of the water from Enda Young’s SUP 


My favourite places to paddle are on the Lower Bann (using the Canoe Trail and avoiding the weirs and sluice gates), the River Roe from outside Limavady (from Swanns Bridge) and around White Rocks on the North Coast. 

As well as being a great workout for both the body and mind, spending time on a SUP offers a different perspective to either a canoe or kayak.  I think it’s a useful tool for introducing children to the world of paddlesport and you can also fit the dog on as well. 

If you don’t have your own board, there are now loads of outdoor providers offering lessons and rentals all over Northern Ireland from the Roe, to Bangor and Strangford Lough.  I think it’s great to see and testament to the unique view of the water that only being on a SUP can offer you.   

The full report is available here.

Many thanks to Enda Young for telling us about his unique and inspiring SUP experiences!

CANI Return to Paddlesport – Updated 8th July 2020

The latest Return to Paddlesport guidance from CANI, updated on 8th July, is available to view on the CANI website here.

CANI Equality Committee Recruitment 

CANI are looking for volunteer Equality Committee members for the following positions to help us move to the next stage in our development;

  • Chairperson
  • Secretary
  • Female Lead
  • Ethnic Minority Lead
  • LGBT+ Lead
  • Cross Community Lead
  • Young Person Lead

The two other roles of Disability Lead and Older Person Lead have been appointed.

We need individuals who share in our values and vision for paddlesport and who have the skills, qualities, and expertise to help the CANI Equality Committee operate effectively.

Please note: Individuals do not need to be a member of CANI or have experience paddling to apply.

These roles are voluntary and the roles offer great flexibility to fit around your time as the majority of our work will take place at bi-monthly evening meetings with occasional weekday activities such as conference calls.

Details of the roles and how to apply can be found here.

Please submit expression of interest form to Lauren Smythe, Chief Officer, at by 12 noon on Friday 7th August 2020.

  • The updated CANI Equality Committee Terms of reference and details of members can be accessed here
  • The CANI Strategy 2017-21 can be accessed here
  • Information on equality can be accessed on the CANI website here 

Sport NI’s Learning Compass

Have you and your Club members seen Sport NI’s Learning Compass?  

The Learning Compass is a sign-posting webpage which aims to offer coaches, officials, volunteers and development staff useful links to learning and resources available from other organisations.

Please see the full list of links here.

Funding Opportunities

Sport NI Hardship Fund- £2k

Sport NI in partnership with the Department for Communities are delighted to announce the re-opening of the Sports Hardship Fund to help sports clubs and other organisations delivering sporting activities, who are experiencing financial hardship.  

The  Sports Hardship Fund initially opened on 14 April and has provided support totalling £1.245M to help over 600 sports clubs maintain facilities during the lockdown.

Each successful applicant will receive £2,000 for costs incurred from 1st April 2020.

The fund will close for completed applications at 12 noon on Wednesday 5th August 2020.

For further details and to apply click here.

The Percy Bilton Charity – £3k to £5k 

The Percy Bilton Charity is a grant-making Trust (registered Charity number 1094720) and company limited by guarantee founded in 1962.


Assistance is given to organisations and individuals assisting disadvantaged youth, people with disabilities, people with mental health problems and older people may apply for grants towards furnishings and equipment (excluding office items), building or refurbishment projects.

The deadline for applications is rolling.

Find out more and apply here.

CANI Funding Database

Please click here to review the many funds on the CANI Funding Database find out if your paddle club can apply.

CANI have also produced a sample funding needs register to help your club target funding here.