Hundreds of kayakers from Ireland's third level colleges are to gather in Galway and Mayo from Friday 5 to Sunday 7 February for the 2016 Kayaking Intervarsities, hosted by students and staff on the Outdoor Education degree programme at GMIT Mayo.
Over 500 competitors from 16 colleges will compete in the Kayaking Intervarsities which is one of the largest participation events in third level sport in Ireland. Competitive events will be held in the Castlebar Swimming Pool, Lough Lannagh (Bridge Street at St Geralds), the Clydagh River and the Clare River in Tuam.
Hundreds of kayakers from Ireland's third level colleges are to converge for the 2016 Kayaking Intervarsities.
Nigel Jennings, Sports Office, GMIT Mayo, says: "Most people around Castlebar will be familiar with the Clydagh River but how many will know that a rapid on the upper section called ‘The Five Steps' - with the optimum rainfall - is one of the toughest white water sections of any river in the country."
"We are looking forward to the competition and encourage members of the public to join in the entertainment on offer over the weekend. We thank Castlebar Municipal District for its co-operation in allowing us access facilities to make the event possible, such as the swimming pool, Lough Lannagh and the car parks, and the setting up of a festival village to cater for the visitors' arrival on Friday evening. "An event of this magnitude is a huge undertaking and it would not be possible without the generous support of our main sponsors McHale Caravans, Cabins and Marine, and Lough Lannagh Village."
"As the adventure tourism industry grows and the use of Lough Lannagh is optimized, it's great to have an excellent accommodation option right on the campus doorstep with McHale Caravans, Cabins and Marine, and Lough Lannagh Village, a comprehensive equipments supplier in the locality. They are both supporting this national event.
The schedule of events during the weekend is as follows:
Friday, 5 February, all day - Kayak Polo at Castlebar Swimming Pool;
Friday, 5 February, all day - Slalom at Lough Lannagh (the bridge at St Geralds);
Saturday morning, 6 February - White water at the Clydagh River;
Saturday afternoon, 6 February - Freestyle at the Clare River in Tuam
Sunday morning, 7 February - Long Distance at Lough Lannagh, Castlebar.
Event organiser and GMIT Outdoor Education student Ronan O ‘Neill says: "Given the right conditions, the ‘Five Steps Rapid' on the River Clydagh is one of the most challenging sections you could hope to have. We are very lucky to have such a river on our doorstep and hopefully it will put its best display on for the day as watching the country's top student paddlers take on this challenge will be a brilliant spectacle."
GMIT Mayo offers two courses in Outdoor Education: the BA in Outdoor Education and Leisure (GA870) which is a Level 7 (three years), with an option to add on one year (Level 8) to gain an honours degree through the progression route; and the BA (Hons) in Outdoor Education, a four year honours degree programme (GA885). For further information, visit www.gmit.ie/mayo (Dept of Business, Humanities & Technology section).