Paddling to success on the Laois rivers

Paddling to success on the Laois rivers
Express Reporternews@leinsterexpress.ieTwitter: @laoisnews

The Woodenbridge Paddlers Blueway summer programme came to a close with a brilliant 10k event on the Erkina and Nore rivers.

This 12 week programme which was rolled out this summer by Waterways Ireland and Canoeing Ireland was aimed at encouraging those with low or no experience of the sport of canoeing to become involved at the end of which they would able to complete an organized 10k event (similar to couch to 5k in jogging).

The programme concluded with an event on Sunday, August 21 with a brilliant 10k paddle.

It proved a real success as all 37 boats, which were made available by the Woodenbridge Paddlers, were fully booked.

The programme also highlighted the fact that south Laois has excellent waterways for which to attract visitors. However, it also showed that an urgent maintenance programme must be put in place to make our rivers more accessible and user friendly.

Sundays 10k event began on the Erkina River at the Woodenbridge. In Durrow more participants joined and continued to the conclusion at New York close to the village of Attanagh on the River Nore where recent rainfall created a fast flow which brought great excitement to sections of this river.

Back on dry land all retreated to the Fly Fishing Museum where refreshments were held and a presentation of certificates was made by Ann Marie Maher Laois County Council Sports Officer to all participants. This was followed by a guided tour of the Museum by proprietor Walter Phelan.

The organisers thanked all who made this event such a memorable occasion.