Her Outdoors Week took place this year on the 8th – 14th of August with the aim of celebrating and encouraging more females to get out and enjoy the benefits of taking part in outdoor activities. Outdoor sports throughout Ireland hosted hundreds of accessible opportunities for women from diverse backgrounds to engage with, helping to create visibility around women who have found a love for the outdoors and implement it in their lifestyles.
Canoeing Ireland supported Her Outdoors Week with a campaign called Her Paddle Journey. This nationwide event encouraged women who engaged in any paddling activities throughout the week to log their journeys and distances on our website to see how far women in Ireland could paddle as a community throughout the week. This event included beginners to advanced paddlers, with women from every county in Ireland getting involved!
In total, we paddled just under 15,000km together in a mixture of kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and dragonboats across lakes, down rivers and canals and exploring Ireland’s coastal areas. With involvement from over 30 clubs, and 20 local sports partnerships and course providers running events and programmes, 1,700 women gained access to paddlesports during Her Outdoors Week. Ambassadors for our Women in Sport initiative ‘Bridge the Gap’ played a key role in creating visibility and opportunities for Her Paddle Journey, and to emphasise how big and inclusive the paddlesports community is becoming for all women.
To get an idea of who was out paddling during the week – 22 groups of canoeists, 10 groups of dragonboat paddlers, 18 groups of paddleboarders and 180 groups of kayakers, took to the waters of Ireland with some counties paddling upwards of 1000km – well done to everyone!
The theme of Her Paddle Journey was to encourage diversity and support for women through the sport, so it was fantastic to see programmes and events engaging with underrepresented communities throughout the week, and multiple fund raisers for charities which support women’s services.
We look forward to running this event again next year to support Her Outdoors Week and aim to continuously help underrepresented communities gain access to paddlesports and find a love for the benefits of the outdoors. Thank you to everyone who made the week possible.