Caption above photo: Stephanie Keating of the Carrick Lions Club; Brian White, president of the Carrick Lions Club; Valerie Connolly of South Tipperary Sports Partnership; Mayor of Carrick-on-Suir MD Cllr David Dunne, Ann Ellis of Carrick Lions Club and Mick Butler, Clonmel Canoe Club and Southeast Freestyle Club at the first meeting on setting up a kayak and canoe club in Carrick .
A new canoeing club called Carrick-on-Suir Paddlers has been formed and its new committee aims to launch kayaking sessions for members in the River Suir in Carrick next spring.
The club was created following two recent meetings at the Hotel Carraig and has set up a Facebook page.
A club committee was elected at the second meeting on October 24.
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Conor Power is the first chairman of Carrick Paddlers, Ralph O’Callaghan is the security manager, Paddy Quigley is PRO while Brian White is secretary.
Peter Coady, Eugene McGrath and Tom Treacy are other committee members.
“We have received many expressions of interest in starting a club and are delighted to be launching it,” said Carrick Paddlers secretary Brian White.
He pointed out that their goal over the winter months is to train people to become club kayak and canoe instructors.
They were advised to train their own instructors as it is expensive to hire instructors.
The first training sessions for committee members and those interested in becoming instructors will take place at the Sean Kelly Sports Center in Carrick-on-Suir on Tuesday 15 November.
Mr White said the club aimed to start kayaking the River Suir in late March or early April next year.
At this stage, the club plans to be affiliated with Canoeing Ireland, the national governing body for canoeing and kayaking water sports.
There was a large turnout at the first public meeting held in September to determine if there was enough interest in the town to form a kayak and canoe club.
This meeting was facilitated by the Carrick-on-Suir Lions Club and chaired by Mr. White, who is the President of the Lions Club.
Borough of Carrick-on-Suir Cathaoirleach Cllr David Dunne was among the attendees while Valerie Connolly, Sports Coordinator with South Tipperary Sports Partnership and Mick Butler of the Clonmel Canoe Club and Southeast Freestyle Club were on hand to offer advice on setting up a club.
The meeting learned that Carrick-on-Suir’s four river landings are excellent launch areas for kayaking and canoeing and that the river’s beautiful surroundings, wildlife and stunning views add to the enjoyment of these water sports. .
Access points along the Blueway were also discussed. Mr. Butler and Ms. Connolly described the technical details of creating the club. She also discussed supports such as grants available and the support the South Tipperary Sports Partnership provides for those setting up a club.
Mr Butler spoke at the meeting about the enjoyment of these water sports, the types of canoes, safety aspects, skill levels and instructor training subsidized by the relevant sports bodies.
Anyone interested in joining Carrick-on-Suir Paddlers should contact committee members or check the club’s Facebook page.