Young adults show their ‘paddle power’

SIX canoeing enthusiasts have completed the paddle power award at Craigavon Watersports Centre under the expert tuition of Matthew McNicholl.

The group, who all have a learning disability, live in the Craigavon and Banbridge area. The lessons were organised by Eamon Murphy, community access officer at the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, and funded by Sport Northern Ireland’s Active Communities programme.

Coach Matthew McNicholl said: “Paddle Power is an introduction to canoeing and the participants were very keen to learn about paddle strokes, keeping safe in the water and racing competitively. Belfast kayaker Hannah Craig became the first Slalom competitor to represent Ireland at the Olympics this year, finishing in 10th place, and she has inspired a generation.”

One participant said: “This was the first time I ever tried this and would love to do it again next year.”

Another participant adds: “It was great to try something new and exciting on the water.”