Canoe Association of Northern Ireland

Using insight to create more tailored programmes for women and girls

The Canoe Association of Northern Ireland (CANI) is the governing body responsible for the management, co-ordination, development and promotion of canoeing in Northern Ireland.

The organisation joined Sported’s Engage-Her project to gain external insight on how they - as a NGB - present the sport to a female audience, create more tailored programmes for women and girls, and increase participation at all levels.


The training element of the Engage-Her project came at an opportune time for CANI as it was reviewing its operational plan.

The training challenged the staff team to focus on what they do across all areas of the sport, which led to the development of an action plan. This included a practical audit of its marketing images and tone of all its messaging, and the provision of new training and support materials to help clubs and providers improve their female provision.


Increasing female participation was already a focus of CANI’s 2017-2021 objectives. However, involvement on Engage-Her led to the organisation deepening its focus on women and girls and incorporating its plan into its 2017-2021 strategy.

“Canoeing are focused on increasing female participation at all levels of the sport. We saw the Engage-Her project as a great way to focus on how the sport is perceived and how we as an NGB present the sport.” said Ashley Hunter, Chief Officer at Canoe Association of Northern Ireland.