For many paddlers, boats, boards and paddles tend to get a little dusty during the colder months as activity decreases. As part of the Sport Ireland Winter Initiative, Canoeing Ireland aimed to find new ways of engaging members through what has traditionally been a slow-paced part of the year for many in the paddling community.

Our solution was WWW – Workouts, Wellbeing and Wellness – online winter series of webinars; tapping into the incredible professional knowledge of our membership and staff, we ran 16 webinars over a 7-week period in January and February with 600 participants and 25 facilitators.

Informed by a member survey sent out in December, the objective was to offer content that meets the needs and wants of our diverse membership. The online format aimed to remove any geographical barriers to participation, which along with content targeted to our members needs, led to a fantastic level of engagement.

The calendar of the series aimed to offer something for everyone in the most accessible format possible; From paddling specific conditioning workouts – Shoulder Activation and Stability – to environmental awareness Paddling and the Planet to developing emotional intelligence on the water – Feeling the Fear.

Canoeing Ireland also engaged the expertise of Sport Ireland Institute professionals in the series; Dr. Sharon Madigan lead nutritionist delivered a very thought provoking Nutrition for Paddlesports webinar and Jessie Barr OLY provided great insight and tools through the Mental Skills and Strategies workshop. Sport Ireland Anti-Doping delivered an Anti-Doping Workshop that engaged many athletes and coaches.

Along with great membership engagement, another highly valuable outcome of the WWW series is a great library of digital resources. The recorded sessions are now hosted on the Canoeing Ireland Youtube channel as an open resource for the paddling community.

A massive thank you to our incredible membership; from the participants to the facilitators who went above and beyond to create excellent informative webinars!

Spring is coming and we look forward to seeing you on the water at one of our many in person events.