The annual Limerick 10K Charity Paddle in aid of Rape Crisis Midwest (RCM) centre and hosted by Limerick Kayaking Academy took place on the 14th of August. The aim of this event is to raise awareness for the RCM who support victims of sexual abuse on their journey towards recovery and rebuilding their lives. Over 150 participants of all abilities attended the event to show their support for the essential service that RCM provide to the community. 100% of proceeds go directly to the RCM, this year the community raised €6,524 so a huge thank you to all who contributed! This years event coincided with Her Outdoors Week ‘Her Paddle Journey’ and added close to 1000 kilometres to the journey!

It is easy to see why this event won the title of Canoeing Ireland Event of the Year in 2020. The event offers participants the option to hire a kayak for the day if they do not have equipment, and there are many volunteers offering assistance and support for all paddlers on the water and ensuring their safety.

The event started off with words from Miriam Duffy, Director of the RCM who explained the importance of supporting fundraisers like this one and the impact it has on the community. This was followed by probably the best paddlesports warm up we have ever seen – Zumba! Limerick Sports Partnership brought in a professional Zumba coach to lead the warm-up and had a crowd of paddlers dancing before getting on the water.

The 10km paddle from Shannon Rowing Club down to Limerick City was a beautiful way to spend the day, emersed in wildlife and surrounded by other paddlers doing the 10K challenge together. We were joined by the paddling team from Mallow Special Olympics again this year. The very skilled group had team members up at the front of the flotilla throughout the entire journey! Towards the end of the journey, we joined forces with the Limerick Dragons dragonboaters who gave us a display of their very coordinated and rhythmic paddling. Well-deserved delicious snacks were waiting for all participants at the Get Off. The day was a massive success, the energy was high and despite the rain there were smiles all around!

A massive thank you and well done to Limerick Kayak Academy Club and RCM for organising this event, and a special thanks to those who helped to make it all happen by loaning equipment, transport and instructors for the day in Kilfinane OETC, My Next Adventure, Munster Kayaking, Shannon Rowing Club, Limerick 2030, Limerick Kayak Club, volunteers on and off the water from various kayak clubs, scout groups, Limerick Suicide Watch and Limerick Sports Partnership! And of course- to all of the participants who took on the challenge and helped to raise funds for such an essential service!

Photos – Nancy Geary.