Last weekend the 2015 Big Bann Canoe Challenge took place on the lower River Bann.
72 people of all ages set off to paddle from Portglenone marina to Drumaheglis marina, covering approximately 25km over the 2 days.
The event was run by a team from County Antrim paddle sports club (C.A.P.S), headed by David Boyle and Gerrard Moreland.
David explained: “I started the event in 2011 to promote the beautiful river bann, encourage people of all ages, and especially families, to take up canoeing, and raise money for charity in the process. It has been a great success, not least because of the enormous enthusiasm and support from everyone in the CAPS club, other canoe clubs who lend us equipment, and of course Waterways Ireland who have sponsored the event”.
Gerry added: “We were delighted to have 72 people taking part this year, including 30 children - 20 of them under 10 years old! Many of the participants had little or no paddling experience, but under the guidance of our team of qualified coaches we had a fun trip to movanagher lock, where the lock keeper, David, had generously allowed us to set up camp. Everyone had a great night around the campfire, and it was especially fantastic to see the children having such brilliant fun in the great outdoors.” Unfortunately the Northern Ireland weather got the upper hand, and with heavy rain and strong winds forecast, it was decided to cancel the leg to Drumaheglis. David said: “It was an easy decision. We put everyone’s safety first and foremost, and everyone was happy as they had had such a fantastic time to that point, so we ended on a high. And let’s not forget the great effort by all the participants who raised sponsorship for our nominated charity, Spinal Injury N. I.”