The 2022 Kayaking Intervarsity hosted by University College Cork Canoe Club was recently awarded the 2022 Student Sport Ireland Event of the Year award, at the recent SSI Network 2022 event in the Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone.
The kayaking intervarsity is one of the most complex events on the sporting calendar at third level due to the array of events and the nature of competitions that are held across a single weekend. With five different kayaking event over the course of the weekend, including Freestyle Kayaking, Long Distance/Marathon Kayaking, Canoe Polo, Whitewater Time Trial and Whitewater Boater Cross, there is a huge event management and safety assessment needed to run the event.
On top of all this UCC canoe club were met with other challenges outside of their control, with the event being postponed a full calendar year due to Covid-19 and then being met with the landfall of three named storms in Dudley, Eunice and Franklin over the competition weekend.
UCC Canoe Club along with UCC Sport acted and reacted to all weather warnings over the weekend and on a number of occasions met to make a decision on whether to go ahead or postpone the event as there was huge numbers travelling to Cork for the weekend. The event would go ahead with some changes made to venues as a result of the weather, which was testament to the hard work and due diligence of the organising committee of students and UCC Sport.
A special theme running through the weekend was remembering Kevin Bell (RIP) a former member of UCC Canoe Club, with the logo for the event designed around an image of Kevin in a previous competition. A fundraising event run over the weekend raised €3,800 for the Kevin Bell repatriation fund.
Patricia Holland, representing UCC Canoe Club, received the award from Mickey Whelan in Athlone.