South Scotland SNP MSP Emma Harper has tested her skills in a kayak on Loch Ryan to promote Stranraer as a fantastic destination for water sports, as well as to highlight the importance of the outdoors, physical activity and exercise to promote positive health and wellbeing.
Ms Harper, herself a registered nurse and convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Mental Health Cross Party Group and co-convener of the Marine Tourism and Recreational Boating CPG has been supporting the Stranraer Water Sports Association with their excellent plans for a state-of-the-art water sports venue, to be located at the Waterfront. The project, which has been awarded funding from Dumfries and Galloway Council, will offer equipment hire, tuition, lessons and a range of water sport opportunities for local residents and visitors to Stranraer.
Commenting, Ms Harper said:
“Stranraer has so much to offer in terms of water sports. It was the location of the 2019 International Skiffie Worlds Championships and both the Stranraer Watersports Association and Coastal and Rowing Club have now successfully secured funding to develop a state-of-the-art water sports facility which will offer equiptment hire, training and water sports experiences to residents and visitors alike.
“It was fantastic to help play my part in promoting Stranraer as a water sports destination by trying my hand at kayaking on Loch Ryan with coastal rowing club secretary, Steven Dampney. Steve kept me right and made sure we took to the water safely. I very much enjoyed learning about sea kayaking and the proposed development and it was fantastic just to have a blether and get onto the water.
“Physical activity and getting outdoors has huge benefits for physical and mental wellbeing and research has shown that any activity can prevent issues such as depression and social isolation. I look forward to the Stranraer Watersports Association and Coastal Rowing Club progressing their plans and I will continue to do all I can to support these moving forward, and to improving access to outdoor and water sports opportunities for the local community.”
Steven Dampney, added:
“It was great to take Emma out onto Loch Ryan for some kayaking to promote Stranraer as a fantastic water sports destination.
“The Stranraer Watersports Association have an exciting programme of work underway to develop accessible water sports facilities across the area, and I look forward to it being implemented in the near future.”