Lough Ree Lanesborough Angling Hub is based in Ballyleague, Co. Roscommon, and is a not-for-profit, community-based angling group, promoting tourism in the area. Over the years, this fabulous group of people have welcomed many fishermen and women onto the River Shannon. This wonderful fishing community sees angling as a recreational sport that is good for your health, well-being and is an inclusive group.
But the group had noticed that their boats were not suitable to users with a disability or special needs, therefore impacting their ability to be inclusive. They were inspired to change. In 2015, they approached the Irish Wheelchair Association and other disability groups to draw up designs on a new boat the first of its kind to be built in Ireland and Britain. Local people with disabilities designed their own boat with a bow that lowered like a small ferry door to allow up to eight wheelchair users 'roll-on' and 'roll-off' the vessel unaided - no lifting and no hoisting.
Funding from our players through the Sports Capital Fund allowed this amazing group finance the vessel.
The Access-For-All boat was launched onto Lough Ree in August 2020. Every week since, the team brings dozens of people with disabilities onto our lakes to fish and enjoy the sights.
This boat has opened a wonderful new opportunity for people with disabilities, and it also shows that this amazing fishing group truly is a champion of inclusivity. This boat has made their dreams come true.
In the coming year, Lough Ree Lanesborough Angling Hub hope that over 3,000 users will get to enjoy this fabulous experience.
This angling hub's story is inspirational and we're so proud to support them.