Council Chairman joins Lakeland Special Olympics Club at final Kayaking Session of the season

29th June 2018

The Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Howard Thornton, joined members of Lakeland Special Olympics Club for their final Kayaking session of the season recently.

With a grant of £1,000 from Fermanagh and Omagh District Council towards the cost of purchasing 10 kayaks and securing specialist coaching, the club was able to introduce Kayaking, which has already proved to be one of the most popular sports attracting 16-20 athletes on a regular basis to classes at Fermanagh Lakeland Forum.

Commenting on the programme, the Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Howard Thornton said

“Equality, inclusivity and diversity are placed at the core of all our services and the Council’s support for this programme is evidence of that commitment. Lakeland Special Olympics Club has a well-earned reputation for its athlete-centred approach which puts the emphasis on “participation and inclusion”. I am delighted that the Council’s investment has afforded the club athletes the opportunity to access yet another sport and one which has had such a successful introduction to the club.”

Speaking on behalf of Lakeland Special Olympics club, club Chairman, Sean Brennan, said:

“The grant aid from Fermanagh and Omagh District Council enabled the club to introduce and develop Kayaking as a new sport. Our programme provided an inclusive sporting opportunity for 16-20 athletes who participated in each session and also delivered a pathway for athletes who wished to enter Regional and National competitions.  We are very grateful to the Council for their financial support and to the excellent instructors at Erne Paddlers who have provided specialist coaching for our athletes. Our club is very much about developing life skills and increasing confidence and building self esteem through social inclusion and we are delighted with the success of the very popular kayaking programme.”

The season finished on a high with three club kayakers, Laura Keenan, Conor Morris and Joseph Bradley, selected to represent Team Ulster at the recent All Ireland Special Olympic Games in Dublin returning with 6 medals between them; 3 gold and 3 silver, which was an excellent achievement given that they have only recently taken up the sport.

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council operates a Grant Aid and Bursary Programme which opens twice yearly in January and September, with the exception of Community Services (Project Development) which is open all year round and Community Services Revenue, Sports Events and Summer Schemes which open in January of each year. The funding is open to Voluntary Clubs, Societies, Community and Sporting Organisations.  Grant Aid groups/projects must be based within the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area to be eligible to apply.

For further information on the Council’s Grant Aid and Bursary Programme please visit the Council website or contact Funding and Investment on 0300 303 1777 (all calls charged at local rate) or by textphone on 028 8225 6212.