Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT ) Castlebar is to host the Irish Kayaking Intervarsities from February 17 to 19 bringing an estimated 500 people to the town of Castlebar and neighbouring villages. The annual event offers kayakers from colleges all over Ireland the opportunity to get together and compete for prestigious titles in a number of divisions such as whitewater, freestyle, canoe polo, and long distance. Eighteen colleges will compete in events on the Clydagh river and Lough Lannagh.
Stephen Hannon, lecturer on the GMIT BA in outdoor education programme, said: “GMIT Castlebar is delighted to host the Irish Kayaking Intervarsities. GMIT Castlebar is a small campus but is a genuine 'adventure-sports-hub' with hills, rivers, and the seas close by. The Kayaking Intervarsities will be a good way to highlight this adventure sports hub and the excellent town centre watersports amenity of Lough Lannagh.
“For spectators the location is very convenient. People will have an opportunity to see a sport that is sometimes under the radar but at which Ireland has been represented in every Olympics since Munich in 1972.”
GMIT sports officer Nigel Jennings, added: “The 2012 Kayaking Intervarsities will bring the very best kayakers from all the colleges and universities in the country to Castlebar to battle it out for this year’s honours, and for our part GMIT Castlebar is extremely proud to host this prestigious event. Having competed so well last year, winning the national Kayak Polo title and placing third overall, we are looking forward once again to taking on the best competitors in the country in our own venue.”
“It’s a huge occasion for Castlebar with over 300 competitors taking part in addition to the abundance of supporters, which will obviously be an economic boost to the locality. I would encourage as many people as possible to make the effort to try to take in some of what promises to be spectacular kayaking on view.”