More than 5,000 people hit the water with the East Wall Watersports Centre in the year 2009, according to centre principal Billy King. The centre, located in the Tolka Estuary in Dublin's East Wall, has a history of sailing in the area stretching back to the 1800s, but its new premises has allowed it develop a range of watersports over the last few years, with match racing among the items on the agenda for 2010.
The watersports group as it stands was formed in the 1980s with a group of people in the East Wall clubbing together to promote a variety of on-the-water activities. However by teaming up with Dublin City Council and sourcing lottery funding, and monies from the Docklands Development Authority and other groups, the new premises were built in 2007 and now house a fleet of dinghies and kayaks to cater for local school and business groups.
The centre has a new website at www.eastwallsailing.com, with Rory Walsh aiming to take participation to the next level and even encourage a match racing event at the end of the year, entitled the Docklands Challenge.
Says Rory: "Despite its discrete appearance (the building is earth bermed and can not be seen from the road or air) the building contains a boat shed, a workshop, changing rooms, a kitchen and a bright open plan teaching room, all of which have been fitted out to the highest standard"