This year’s Student Sport Ireland Event of the Year Award was presented to UCD Canoe Club for their hosting of the 2018 Kayaking Intervarsity in February this year. The award was presented to UCD Kayaking Club members Ross Kerrigan and Sara Griffin at the recent SSI Network Event Awards dinner in the Hodson Bay Hotel by Mayo Ladies Footballer Cora Staunton.
The kayaking event took place across three days in February from the 16th-18th, with five disciplines of kayaking, Polo, Long Distance, Slalom, Freestyle, Whiteriver, which were held across five different venues in the four counties of Kildare, Dublin, Wicklow and Meath. The slalom race was the largest of its kind ever to take place in Ireland with over 90 competitors competing.
Planning for the event began in September 2017 as a club and all participating teams were invited to send their captains to a safety weekend at the venues in November, where a two-day information weekend outlined all the plans for the event and any safety concerns were noted and addressed.
A major strength of the organizing was the in-depth plans for safety, with contingency plans in place for water levels rising, poor weather and unsuitable conditions. Each of the five venues for the event had the Order of Malta on site, along with a safety officer for each site and while a couple of minor incidents took place over the three-day event these were dealt with by implementing the safety protocols accordingly.
Delivering a quality intercollegiate event of this magnitude can come at a significant cost, however the organizing committee utilized all resources and managed to run the event at a profit. There were six sponsors of the competition and this was added to by funding from UCD.
To promote the event, a strong social media campaign was put in place with posters and video clips posted on several different platforms including, Facebook and Twitter. After the event a video was circulated via social media showing the skill of all the competitors from a drone camera, cameras on the banks and go-pros being used to capture the action. Please click here to view the event.
The award was presented to Ross Kerrigan and Sara Griffin at the award night by Mayo Ladies Footballer Cora Staunton.