Donegal Sea and Surf Paddlers (DSSP) is a progressive kayaking club based along the west coast of Donegal. We operate as an affiliated club to Canoeing Ireland, the sport’s National Governing Body (NGB) in Ireland. The DSSP has been in operation since 2016, and the safety and wellbeing of our members and the general public are top of our priorities.
Because of our concern for safety, the club undertook some initial research into those offering kayaking activities and trips in our area of Donegal in 2019. Through this research, we found that out of 11 kayak providers in west Donegal, only 4 were registered through an NGB.
Since then we have been encouraging providers to engage and register with the NGB they received their qualifications through. In Ireland, this can be either Canoeing Ireland or CANI/British Canoeing. Unfortunately, some providers advertising trips online and through tourism platforms are still not registering with an NGB.
There are a number of reasons why being registered with an NGB is essential.
It shows that a provider has:
- The relevant qualifications and the level of said qualifications.
- The remit of qualification.
It also shows they’ve received updates to the current kayak coach/instructor standard, including:
- Garda vetting
- Outdoor first aid training
- Incident management on the water training
- They are aware of NGB guidelines and best practice
Operating outdoor activities, especially on the water, requires proper training and oversight. Being registered with an NGB show’s that a provider has been trained to run trips/coaching as safely as possible.
Being an unregistered provider
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to tell if an unregistered provider has any of the above safety structures in place.
We are concerned about the qualifications, skill, and ability of those unregistered providers operating in West Donegal. Because of this, we’ve been working alongside kayak trip providers to get them registered, resulting in the list below:
- Sea Kayaking Donegal https://seakayakingdonegal.com/ Number of registered instructors 2 Level of qualifications 1 to 3 Full update status.
- Maghery Coastal Adventures https://magherycoastaladventures.ie/ Number of registered instructors 2 Level of qualifications level 2 Full update status.
- Awaken Adventures https://awakenadventures.ie/ Number of registered instructors 1 level of qualification level 2 full update status.
- Jaws Watersports Dunfanaghy Number of registered instructors 3 Level of qualification level 2
- Eco Atlantic Adventures https://ecoatlanticadventures.com/ Number of registered instructors 1 Level of qualification level 2 Full update status
- Trek and Paddle Gweedore Donegal Number of registered instructors 1 level of qualification level 2 Full update status
- Dunlewy Kayaking https://dunleweykayaking.ie/ Number of registered instructors 1 level of qualification level 1 Update status pending
Note: providers and instructors can still be added if proof of registration is provided. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org