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Green light for plans for new water safety scheme

11 February 2022
Members of Council's Health and Community Committee have given the thumbs up for plans to roll out a new water safety project in the Derry and Strabane area, with support from Sport Northern Ireland.
It was agreed that £2,000 in partnership funding would be allocated to the project from Council's Sports Development budget, with £10,000 being allocated to deliver the Get WET Safety project by Sport NI.
The committee heard that Sport NI is currently developing a business case to promote water sports safety in all 11 council areas across Northern Ireland. Council's Head of Community Development and Leisure, Barry O'Hagan, said the project would enhance programmes being delivered on our local rivers and lakes, including the newly developed jetty at Prehen Boathouse.
As part of the project, training sessions will be provided in each area for individuals and groups who have equipment and wish to participate in water sports locally. The programme will focus on activities such as stand up paddle boarding, sit on top kayaks and open water swimming.
Welcoming the plans, Chair of the Health and Community Committee, Councillor Paul Fleming, said it was a great opportunity to promote water safety and activities in the local area.
"We have a growing water sports community and I am delighted to see this support being made available for our local groups. With more and more people taking an interest in outdoor activities such as open water swimming and kayaking, we should all be aware of water safety and the benefits of carrying out these activities under the safe guidance of certified water sports organisations.
"Initiatives such as this one will encourage membership of these groups by enhancing the programme of activities available, and promoting the fantastic offering we have right on our own doorstep. The site at the new Prehen jetty is the ideal spot for a wide range of water based activities, and I look forward to seeing this programme being delivered and the ongoing development of our local water sports offering."