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The Broken Weir Kayak Club usually canoe on the Garavogue river situated beside the school. They train every week and welcome every pupil who wants to join in. The pupils learn whitewater and K1 racing technique. During the season they go on several trips both up and down the river. Recently there have been many more trips. The destination of this session varies depending on a number of factors – mainly the weather! Advanced kayakers travel down the river – heavy rain forms features e.g waves and holes to play about on. Recently the Kayak Shed has been refurbished and now is very suitable for storing all the Kayaking equipment.
Numbers are increasing every year, so the club has recently bought new boats. The club has the use of 5 K2s and 6 K1s making long distance trips more accessible.
TY students enjoy a module in kayaking so that everyone gets an opportunity to try the sport.
The SGS Kayak Club is back up and running for 2021 – 2022. There is a record membership this year and first years have shown great interest in getting involved. Below are some photos from September.
KAYAK CLUB OUTING 2021
Just before the school broke up for the Summer, Sligo Grammar School Kayak Club went on their annual paddle to Beezies Island on Lough Gill. This has become a cherished tradition and much looked forward to by the members of the Club. Last year, due to the Lockdown, the trip never happened, so it was doubly exciting this year. There are so many in the club now that Mr Cradock had to organise three outings in order to accommodate everyone. The groups paddled to the island and had a picnic there before setting off again to return to SGS. Beezies Island is about 4.5 km from the school so the students paddled about 9 km in total, up the Garavogue River, across the lake and back again. Thanks to Mr Cradock for organising the trip and to Mr Brandon for coming along to help.
Despite the restrictions imposed on schools by Covid19, Sligo Grammar School has continued to offer the majority of its extra-curricular activities to its students. One of the perennial favourites is kayaking, and the school has a vibrant club that takes to the water twice in the week. The club continues throughout the year and has members from all classes. Mr Cradock encourages his kayakers to aim towards getting their kayaking skills awards. Recently the Level 2 Canoeing River Skills Award was earned by Alana Guckian-Walton, Darragh Leakey and Almha Walsh. Well done to all!
On Tuesday 8th October Sligo Grammar School took part in the Call of The Wild Schools Kayak Competition. SGS hosted the event and welcomed competitors from other local schools. There was a series of competitions for seasoned kayakers and newcomers. This year Sligo Grammar School won the overall prize which was the use of the Liffey Descent boat which belonged to the late Alex McGourty who died tragically in a kayaking accident in Equador in 2018. The school will use the boat for 12 months and it will then be passed on to the winner of next year’s competition. The Sligo Grammar School paddlers had a very successful day in all categories and with a total of 32 points emerged as the overall winning school. The competition was organised by Mr Tommy Cradock and the Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnership, while the competition was sponsored by Call of the Wild. Well done to all participants and thank you to the organisers and to the teachers who go out on the river in all weathers to give their students the chance to paddle! Photos can be viewed on the Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnership Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SligoSportandRecreationPartnership
In the Liffey Descent on the 18th of May SGS had eight paddlers who went to Dublin for the Junior Descent. Well done to Finn Grennan who placed 3rd in his age group with a time of one hour and 17 minutes.
To finish off the kayaking year the club took off to Beezie’s Island on Lough Gill for the, now traditional paddle and picnic!
On Monday 22nd October, Sligo Grammar School hosted the Call of the Wild Sligo Schools Kayak Competition in association with Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnership. The competition was part of the Urban Outdoor Adventure Initiative. In lovely autumn weather 46 students from five schools took part in a series of kayak races on the Garavogue River. For some schools this was their first kayaking outing, having started kayaking this year through the Urban Outdoor Adventure Initiative. John Barrett from Wild Wet Adventures and SGS helped the new-comers out by providing kayaks, wetsuits and safety equipment for the event. Medals and t-shirts were sponsored by Call of the Wild, while, in a touching tribute to the late Alex McGourty, his family kindly presented his Liffey Descent Boat to the winning school, Summerhill College. They will have use of the boat for one year, until its return for presentation to next years winning school.
WHAT IS REQUIRED TO BECOME A MEMBER.
To become a member of the Kayak Club you have to take part in two tests. The first test is capsizing and getting out of your boat. The second test involves capsizing the canoe and swimming in deep water to the bank, where the canoe is emptied of water. In the following weeks, various practice rescues take place – for example T-Rescue and X-Rescue
To achieve a Level 3 – you need to have a solid Eskimo roll and be able to navigate the kayak in whitewater and be able to paddle a K1. Level 3 allows students to take part in advanced whitewater trips eg. Down the Garavogue, River Duff, Tuam, Clifden etc.
The Broken Weir Kayak club takes part in various competitions during the year, notably the Liffey Descent.