On the crest of a wave

The tradition of surfing and watersports is very much alive in Donegal and last weekend some of the water veterans in the county came out to show that they can still take on the very best.

The tradition of surfing and watersports is very much alive in Donegal and last weekend some of the water veterans in the county came out to show that they can still take on the very best.

The Irish Water Safety Stillwater Championships took place last Saturday in Ballyshannon Leisure Centre, with competitors from all over Ireland descend on the pool for a very successful and eventful day.

The event was for those aged over 30 years and over 45 years and the events offered them the opportunity to compete in a number of different lifesaving adapted races in the pool.

Competition Director, Seamus O’Neill, said: “The day ran off smoothly with everyone involved having great success.

“This is the first year that the event has been held as a separate entity to the younger age groups which was held back in February and it is tremendous to see such a high level of interest in this event. There is no doubt that the awareness of water safety and activities in the water is growing year by year.

“There is no doubt that there is a major growth in this market which will be welcome news to tourism providers.”

The Donegal Team had a huge success with everyone on the squad performing to their best, and the medal count in the squad shows that with over 60 medals won on the day, and a number of individuals attaining some great success, Donegal dominated on the weekend.

Team Coach, Simon McGarrigle, said that he was very happy with the teams result and he was delighted that all their hard effort put into his rigorous training schedule paid off.

“Each member of the team has played a vital role in their success and has exceeded all expectations,” he said.

The club has little time to celebrate as they now have to focus their attention on the nipper age group (8yr to 14yrs) many of which are the children of those who competed in the masters competition. Simon and his team of coaches will travel with nearly 50 Donegal nippers to Kilkenny on Saturday April 16 to take part in the Nippers National Stillwater Championships.

The Donegal Masters team consisted of; Sarah Meehan, Sinead Donagher, Grace Meade, Ann Morrow, Triona McMenamin, James McIntyre, Johnathan Kennedy, Rory O’Neill, Barry Duffy, Connor O’Connor, Brian O’Reilly, Adrian McKinney, Gavin Craig, Shane Smyth and Simon McGarrigle