Get Wet Stay Safe 2023

Get Wet Stay Safe 2023

27 Apr 2023

The Get Wet Stay Safe(GWSS) programme returns for its second year to ensure the safe use of open water spaces. The GWSS programme is a joint initiative between Sport NI, Swim Ulster and other local bodies and authorities.  


GWSS provides a series of training sessions in each council area on the impacts of cold water and basic safety messages for Open Water Swimmers aswell as Stand-Up Paddleboard and Sit-on Top Kayak users.

The second year of the programme was launched at South Lakes Leisure Centre in Craigavon where those in attendance also had the chance to take part in a Get Wet Stay Safe session on the water.  


Chief Executive of Sport NI, Antoinette McKeown said: It has been brilliant to see the increase in people taking part in water sports and taking advantage of the many accessible locations on our doorsteps across Northern Ireland. 

Water sports are a great way to stay active during the summer and being outdoors has many benefits for our mental health and well-being but open water also has significant risks. 

We want to ensure that water sport is enjoyed but is done so safely. The Get Wet Stay Safe programme will educate users on the risks of open water and how to look after themselves to avoid situations but also how to help themselves if a problem should arise. 

The first year of this programme saw over 600 people take part in our safety sessions, equipping them with the knowledge and confidence to enjoy their time on the water safely.  

We would encourage anyone thinking of taking part in paddleboarding, kayaking or open water swimming to attend one of our sessions.”  

Sessions are being held in all 11 council areas in Northern Ireland every weekend and on Wednesday evenings between May and September. 

The programme is also being sponsored by Nature Valley with every attendee on a course receiving a bar. 

If you are interested in attending a session, please follow our facebook or similarly scroll down to the bottom to see the up to date list of sessions running in May and June.



Ards & North Down


20th Crawfordsburn 12.15pm to 1.15pm

21st Donaghadee 12.15pm to 1.15pm


4th Millisle 11.00am to 12noon

11th Crawfordsburn

24th June Ballywalter 3.30pm to 4.30pm


Lisburn & Castlereagh (Moria Lakes)


19th 7.00pm to 8.00pm


25th 7.00pm to 8.00pm


Causeway Coast & Glens


21st Castlerock 21 8.45am to 9.45am


10th Portballintrae 1.00pm to 2.00pm

24th East Strand Portrush 12noon to 1.00pm


Fermanagh & Omagh (Loughmacrory)


10th  7.00pm to 8.00pm

30th 7.30pm to 8.30pm


13th 7.00pm to 8.00pm

27th  7.00pm to 8.00pm


Newry Mourne & Down


6th Newcastle Harbour 6.15pm to 7.15pm


10th Newcastle Harbour 6.00pm to 7.00pm

29th Warrenpoint 7.00pm to 8.00pm


People enjoying adventure activities (whether on water or land) in Northern Ireland are also being urged to #BeAdventureSmart, as partners come together to launch the AdventureSmart Northern Ireland campaign.   

New pages on feature detailed information for popular outdoor pursuit sites including the Mournes, the Causeway Coast, the Sperrins, Strangford and the Fermanagh Lakelands.  




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