ULKC’s Alps Adventure

ULKC’s Alps Adventure

With the smell of freshly lit barbecues and people breaking out their summer wardrobes, a special kind of excitement fills the hearts of the members of the UL Kayak Club, as on the back of the summer breeze calls for what we have waited all year for; the annual Alps trip.

Three weeks spent driving, camping and kayaking through the gorgeous Slovenian and Italian Alps along with friends, gaining new experiences and creating memories that you will never forget; what’s not to get excited about?

This trip is easily one of the most popular and enjoyed events that the club runs and overall, it’s just three straight weeks of paddling, craic and amazing experiences which is what the club was built to encompass.

We always strive to improve in whatever aspect we can, from skills to safety and communication and through this trip we get the chance to improve overall while enjoying the backdrop of the unforgettable beauty of the Alps.

Needless to say, a trip like this requires a serious level of preparation if one wants to feel their arms after a week. Therefore, while most students around this time spend their study breaks watching the new episode of Riverdale or going for lunch, you can instead find members of ULKC heading to the boathouse.

If you’ve been down by the pontoon or have been down by our stretch of the Shannon lately, you may have heard the sound of questionably good music taste booming down the river.

No, you’re not going crazy from exam stress, it’s simply nicer to paddle along to your favourite indie rock playlist than to have the only soundtrack to your workout be laboured breathing and the panicked sounds of those who looked at a swan the wrong way and really, really regrets it.

So, if you spot any of us down on the river be sure to say hi! It makes us feel better to not have to try to awkwardly haul a boat out of the water with dead legs while silent strangers look on.

At the end of all this preparation we do the only thing that can properly mark the beginning of such a trip; have a massive barbeque!

Our annual Alps Barbeque officially marks the start of what we’ve been training for throughout the year and allows us to celebrate the end of another great semester with the club. This year it will also share this celebration with the Irish Cancer Society as we shave the heads of our volunteer members in support of the charity.

We hope to share the experience with you as much as we can, so make sure to keep an eye on our social media to keep track of our adventures!

UL Kayak Club Intervarsities 2018

UL Kayak Club Intervarsities 2018

With steeled eyes and determined hearts the University of Limerick Kayak Club (ULKC) set out to defend their eight-year reigning title at Kayaking Intervarsities this weekend.

Hosted this year by the University College Dublin. The nationwide competition has been the holy grail of kayaking by clubs across the country since its establishment in 1980.

Through years of work, dedication and spirit the ULKC has brought home the top trophy eight years in a row in the longest ongoing winning streak in the Kayaking Intervarsities history.

Despite this impressive record Club Captain Eoghan Calnan has expressed: ‘Intervarsities as a whole doesn’t decide which college club is the best…it’s about having a target to aim for in every club to develop their skills in every discipline.’

‘Throughout the semesters and the summer we’re consistently training for and doing white water, long distance and taking part in polo competitions. We’re on our local stretch of white water every week and I couldn’t even count how many kilometres are paddled in a single week by members of the club.’

While ULKC dedicates a lot of time and focus towards varsities, they have expressed that the true secret to the ongoing success of the club in competition is the dedication to the sport and its disciplines by its members.

The Intervarsity competition combines the many disciplines of kayaking into a massive three-day event that allows college paddlers across the country to meet and compete with one another once a year.

With ULKC pushing for their ninth consecutive win, Club Captain Eoghan Calnan welcomes the challenge of both friends and friendly rivals alike gunning to knock ULKC from their long-standing position.

The 2018 Kayak Intervarsities start on Friday the 16th February with the Whitewater and Freestyle disciplines, then continue to Slalom and Long-distance competitions on Saturday to finally come to an end following the Polo portion of the competition.

Rollin’ on the River

Rollin’ on the River

University of Limerick Kayak Club, or ULKC as its commonly known, was founded nearly 43 years ago by a group of friends who loved to kayak. Since then the club has gone from strength to strength, and is now one of UL’s largest clubs. Every year around 250 students with little or no kayaking experience sign up to ULKC, making it the best club for freshers and Erasmus students to join. Whether you are a student in UL already or are new to the university, ULKC are more than excited to welcome new members! From our weekly river trips, active committee and friendly members, you are sure to make friends for life through this club.

Kayaking has become a hugely popular sport throughout the world and in UL too. Whether you have paddled before college or have never seen a kayak before in your life, you will be more than welcome here. You will be guaranteed to be taught how to kayak quicker than you can imagine by some of the best kayakers in the country, who are currently studying in UL. ULKC is currently the best ranked kayaking club in the country, winning our 8th consecutive intervarsity’s title and not planning on letting go of it any time soon. Our club offers you the chance to get away from the tiresome college life, and challenge yourself whilst having some of the most amazing experiences possible. From endless river trips, excellent safety training, social events, to international trips; you will never be short of things to do with ULKC.

Our pool sessions will begin Tuesday of week 2 @9:45pm in the UL Sports Arena. Every week we will be running a weekly river trip for you to get out on the real water. You will get a chance to get outdoors, meet kayakers of all ages and learn unreal kayaking and safety skills. ULKC will teach you all types of kayaking; from white-water kayaking, to surf kayaking, to freestyle kayaking, we have it all!

In ULKC you will get a chance to get to know all our members not just on the water but on our club nights out and on our many, many trips. Our first trip of the semester will be to compete in the annual Intervarsities, this year hosted by UCD. You will get the opportunity to see the best of the best compete different kayaking disciplines first hand and help us win our 9th consecutive intervarsities title! As fun as our weekly river trips are, we have bigger and better trips wedged into our jam-packed schedule. Last semester our paddlers travelled all over the country to get experience paddling, spend time with friends and make the most of their time outside of college work. During the Christmas break the first of our international trips of the year took place. This trip took our paddlers to the cold region of Fort William, Scotland, to allow you to experience the best white-water kayaking Scotland has to offer. However, all of these river trips are there to gear you up for our much anticipated trip to the Alps. Straight after summer exams, you will get the opportunity to spend 3 weeks in the beautiful Slovenian, Italian and French Alps. This will be without a doubt one of the most amazing opportunities you will ever get. Kayaking has taken some of our members around the world both during and after college, and you could get this chance too. ULKC has had members go kayaking in Uganda, Montenegro, California, Norway, Canada and many more places.

If you would like to be a part of our club and add to your college experience, then come talk to us at the recruitment drive on Wednesday of week 1 and we can answer any questions you may have. You can call into the pool to us any Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night @21:45-22:45 too. Feel free to contact us on our Facebook page ‘University of Limerick Kayak Club’, our email [email protected] , our our Snapchat ‘ULKAYAK’.

SEE YOU ON THE WATER!

Take Me to the River

Take Me to the River

University of Limerick Kayak Club, or ULKC as its commonly known, was founded nearly 43 years ago by a group of friends who loved to kayak. Since then the club has gone from strength to strength, and is now one of UL’s largest clubs. Every year around 250 students with little or no kayaking experience sign up to ULKC, making it the best club for freshers to join. From our weekly river trips, active committee and friendly members, you are sure to make friends for life through this club.

Kayaking has become a hugely popular sport throughout the world and in UL too. Whether you have paddled before college or have never seen a kayak before in your life, you will be more than welcome here. You will be guaranteed to be taught how to kayak quicker than you can imagine by some of the best kayakers in the country, who are currently studying in UL. ULKC is currently the best ranked kayaking club in the country, winning our 8th consecutive intervarsity’s title and not planning on letting go of it any time soon. Our club offers you the chance to get away from the tiresome college life, and challenge yourself whilst having some of the most amazing experiences possible. From endless river trips,  excellent safety training, social events, to international trips; you will never be short of things to do with ULKC.

Our pool sessions will begin Tuesday of week 2 @9:45pm in the UL Sports Arena. Every week we will be running a weekly river trip for you to get out on the real water. You will get a chance to get outdoors, meet kayakers of all ages and learn unreal kayaking and safety skills. ULKC will teach you all types of kayaking; from white-water kayaking, to surf kayaking, to freestyle kayaking, we have it all! Our annual Freshers Party will properly kick off your ULKC experience on the Thursday of week 2 and allows you to get to know all our members outside of the pool. As if that wasn’t enough, in week 3 we will be heading to Lahinch for some of the best surf kayaking Ireland has to offer. Lahinch is undoubtedly the best weekend away you will have during your college experience! You will be introduced to surf kayaking, see how ULKC really have the craic, and see one of the wackiest fancy dress parties to grace the west of Ireland. This is definitely not a weekend to be missed!

As fun as our weekly river trips are, we have bigger and better trips wedged into our jam-packed schedule. Last year we sent 35 of our members to attack the waters of Donegal and Wesht Cork on some of our weekend trips. Our trips don’t just happen during the semesters, oh no. Over the Christmas break we spend the New Year in Kerry with other university kayaking clubs. During this break is also when the first of our international trips of the year takes place. This trip takes our paddlers to the cold region of Snowdonia, Wales, to allow you to experience the best white-water kayaking Wales has to offer. However, all of these river trips are to gear you up for our anticipated trip to the Alps. Straight after summer exams, you will get the opportunity to spend 3 weeks in the beautiful Slovenian, Italian and French Alps. This will be without a doubt one of the most amazing opportunities you will ever get. Kayaking has taken some of our members around the world both during and after college, and you could get this chance too. ULKC has had members go kayaking in Uganda, Montenegro, California, Norway, Canada and many more places.

If you would like to be a part of our club and add to your college experience, then come talk to us at the recruitment drive on Wednesday of week 1. You can find us at our stand in UL Sports Arena and we can answer any questions you may have. You can call into the pool to us any Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night @9:45-10:45 too. Feel free to contact us on our Facebook page ‘University of Limerick Kayak Club’, our email

 

[email protected] , our our Snapchat ‘ULKAYAK’.

SEE YOU ON THE WATER!

Wild Wales in Winter 2017

Wild Wales in Winter 2017

The trip started as it went on, nineteen paddlers, waking at a ridiculous hour all in the name of the glorious sport we call kayaking. With the vehicles packed and ready to go we left from UL with excitement and encouraged by members who had gone before that it’s some of the best paddling we’ll ever do. The trip to the fabled Jesse James Bunkhouse consisted of a lot of sleeping and wondering why Welsh has such a lack of vowels in the language.

Upon arriving we were left loose on the rooms to choose our beds for the week. It was a tough competition where friendships ran thin and the scars resulting from it can still be seen today. After a quick trip to the local paddle shop and an early night we were truly settled in to our new surroundings in rural Wales.  The next few mornings the early risers of ULKC were most definitely rewarded by what they found at the river.

The question of why go to Wales in the middle of winter was without a doubt answered by the wonder that is the River Dee. A river that suits all levels of paddling. One of the best places to practice beginner skills and has the famous ‘Serpent’s Tail’ rapid for those who wanted to push their paddling to the next level. As the week went on there were repeat trips to the Dee along with trips to the Afon Llugwy and the mighty Tryweryn. Amidst all this kayaking we took a rest day under the surface of the earth to an underground trampoline cavern. A scene to make our own trampoline club jealous.

Sinead Ní Raghaill on The River Dee in Wales Photo credit Eoghan Calnan

Sinead Ní Raghaill on The River Dee in Wales Photo credit Eoghan Calnan

It’s safe to say after a week in Wales nineteen paddlers were truly introduced to a ULKC international trip. After the long journey home, the tired but enthusiastic group cleaned the boats and made their best attempt to merge back into normal society. For many it was their first international kayak club trip but I doubt it will be their last.