Canoeing Ireland and the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) are very pleased to announce a new joint collaborative initiative with the inclusion of kayaking as a rehabilitation exercise in the new state-of-the-art aquatic physiotherapy pool at the NRH. Having put a particular emphasis on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the past number of years, Canoeing Ireland are extremely excited to open up the world of Paddlesports to the patients of the NRH and are committed to working towards creating a culture of equity and inclusivity by ensuring our sport is accessible to as many people as possible.

The NRH Aquatics Physiotherapy Department actively collaborates with external sporting organisations to provide opportunities for people of all abilities to participate in sports that they may have been involved in prior to their admission to the NRH, or have been exposed to for the first time during their rehabilitation programme. The NRH is delighted to work alongside Canoeing Ireland in this new collaboration which will expand the opportunities for our patients to enjoy sport, and in particular paddlesports, as part of their rehabilitation programme.

Canoeing Ireland CEO Moira Aston spoke about this exciting step for the diversity of Paddlesports.

‘We are incredibly proud of this latest step in ensuring as many people as possible have an equal opportunity to participate in Paddlesports. We are looking forward to welcoming many new members to the Paddlesports community from first participating in the NRH and then hopefully moving on to a continued engagement with the sport’

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager Emer Carton paid testament to the fantastic team effort in Canoeing Ireland and the NRH which led to the development of this collaboration.

‘I would like to acknowledge the dedication and hard work from the team which resulted in this fabulous programme. The Aquatics Physiotherapy team in the NRH have met us with enthusiasm at every step of the planning and preparations, and welcomed us into their facilities. Our teams have collaborated to make this as positive an experience as possible for the patients. It has been incredibly rewarding so far seeing the positive reactions from patients who have participated in the programme so far and look forward to welcoming more people into our Paddlesports community’

Head of Physiotherapy at the NRH, Rosie Kelly said.

‘Sports activities are hugely beneficial for people as part of their rehabilitation programme – from the physical activity and general wellbeing aspect to the social side of sport and getting to meet people with similar interests.  At the NRH we are focused on patients’ abilities, and trying new activities that they may continue after leaving the NRH. We look forward to working with Canoeing Ireland and developing paddlesports opportunities for our patients in our new world class facilities’

This programme would not have been possible without the support of the Dormant Account Fund and the equipment provided by the Canoe Centre.

Canoeing Ireland would like to extend a particular thanks to Catherine Sadlier and the team in the Aquatics Physiotherapy Department for their continued support in developing this programme, and are excited to introduce more patients to the benefits of Paddlesports over the coming year.