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GMIT Castlebar - National Kayak Polo Champions 2012
By Sinead kelly
22, Feb 2012 - 10:23

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GMIT Castlebar National Polo Kayaking Champions 2012

Long Distance start.


Action from the kayak polo.

Last weekend 17-19 February, GMIT Kayak and Canoe Club, Castlebar made history by hosting the 2012 Kayaking Intervarsities for the first time. Over 18 colleges attended, and approximately 500 students from all over the country made their way to Castlebar with trailers packed full of colourful boats following behind.

Friday's events kicked off with the Canoe Polo held on Lough Conn in Crossmolina, with music on site to set the atmosphere, hearty food provided by Lilliput Loaf, and the presence of the Civil Defence throughout the Weekend. The competitors arrived for the clash of the paddles to prove they had what it takes to win the title of Canoe Polo Champions 2012. For their first match GMIT faced NUI Maynooth who had a strong opposition but were no match for the quick scoring action of the GMIT players. Later that day they went on to knock out University of Limerick and DIT in the semi finals. The pressure was put on GMIT in the last stage of the competition as they were up against DCU who had some very strong players. After a gripping championship final GMIT won the coveted first place.

GMIT Castlebar Squad -

Kevin Pierce, Ken Hynes, Shona O'Dowd, Gavin Ported, Eric Conway, Keith Byrne, Carol Dunphy, Mark Brogan, feidhlim Dignan

Mike Rogerson GMIT completing a loop.

Saturday commenced with the Whitewater event on The Clydagh River, where each college was represented by 4 paddlers who had to make their way down the river as fast as possible. The River surprised many; throwing fast rapids and sharp turns their way, leaving a carnage of boats, paddles and students being swept down river, which were quickly rescued by the efficient GMIT river rescue team. University of Limerick showed their paddling talents by claiming first Place at the Whitewater event.

Laura Griffin DCU happy to exit.

The second event on Saturday was the Freestyle competition held on Tuam Wave which was the perfect location for spectators to view the tricks and skills of some of the finest freestyle paddlers our country has to offer.

Spectators at the freestyle event.

The Kayaking Intervarsities drew to an epic close at Lough Lannagh with the long distance event which had the largest number of competitors taking place. The weather made for a perfect end to the Kayaking weekend, with live music on the waters side provided by Con Artists. The atmosphere was electric with all competitors warming up on the water and families from the area coming to witness the spectacle.

GMIT Castlebar featured well in their event with:

- Ronan Cunningham and Oisin Foden 1st in "double sea Kayak".

- David Cattigan & Diarmuid Cannole 2nd in "Canoe".

- Carol Dunphy   3rd in "General purpose" to add her kayk polo winners medal.

Cassie Brennan and Carol Dunphy.

The overall winners to the 2012 Kayaking Intervarsities were University of Limerick and next years Kayaking Intervarsities will be held by the proud winners in Limerick.

This event would not have been possible without the dedication and commitment from Alan Judge, GMIT Castlebar Students Union President, Nigel Jennings, GMIT Castlebar Sports Officer and especially Mark O Connor, GMIT Castlebar Kayak and Canoe Club Captain.

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