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Board Members

Chloe Hamilton

Club chairperson 3yrs now - got into paddling in 2003 through the surf competition squad and attended European competitions until 2009 and then paddled recreationally. Joined the club in 2011 and through this, I became a Level 1 & Level 2 coach and then a sea kayak leader and most recently an aspirant coach Educator for FSRT and paddle sports instructor.  I am passionate and sea kayaking and really enjoy my coaching. I helped set up our pioneering inclusive sessions and Junior Leaders awards sessions.


I was introduced to paddling through Gortatole's Explorer Challenge in 2009 and joined Erne Paddlers when it was formed the following year. I was Junior Rep on the committee for a number of years and set-up Queen's Paddlesports Club in 2013 with a number of other students. I filled a number of roles throughout my time at university including Chairperson in 2016. Through Erne Paddlers, I have completed my Level 1 Coach and 3 Star Sea Kayak and Canoe. I enjoy planning journeys and expeditions and have recently completed my sea leader training. (As well as being on the Erne Paddlers Board, I am also an active member of Belfast Kayak Club?)

Philippa Bennett

I joined Erne paddlers 6years ago and have gained my 3 stars in open boat, sea kayak, river and surf. I have also gained my level 1 coaching and then my level 2 coaching. I coach for lSOC and enjoy getting everyone of all abilities on the water you can make everything into a fun game. I have recently completed my sea leader training and looking forward to work towards the completion of this qualification. I joined the board 3 years ago


Well what can I say, that hasn't been said before?

In an earlier career, I was a top business executive at a leading Northern Ireland Bank and I presently head up the Finance Team at the renowned local residential activity charity, Share Discovery Village. 

Erne Paddlers saw the light, some years ago, and I was 'head-hunted' to bring some dynamism and essential business acumen on board.

Business development, excellent interpersonal skills and 'a never say die attitude' are some of my other strengths

I have a life-long love of sport which has culminated in me representing my adopted home at inter-county level. 

I am also a qualified coach and enjoy nothing more than sharing my skill-set and inspiring others to maximise their potential.

I have been remarkably successful in a variety of charity roles including as Treasurer and Chairman,  but it is as Public Relations Officer that I would be most widely acclaimed and fondly remembered.

Brian Sammon

I have been with the club for years. My qualifications are Paddlesport Instructor, Level 2 Hillwalking Coach, RYA Powerboating Level 2, REC2 & Workplace First Aid, Qualified Teacher, Special Educational Needs Experience, PGCE Secondary in Design and Technology, BEng(Hons) Manufacturing Systems Engineering.


Paul Harrington

Our FT Club Development Officer, Paul "Harry" Harrington is a Level 5 CANI / BCU coach and coach educator. He has a passion for both the outdoors and helping others through coaching. Involved in the paddlesport for a long time, Paul has coached the successful NI Surfkayak and Waveski squad for over 10 years and has made surf kayaks, wave skis and surfboards in his shed.  He has also been instrumental in the development of the sports structure at the national and club level, helping gain international recognition for NI’s work in this area. 

He has a passion for life-long learning and the benefits of continuous improvement and mindfulness. He recently completed a Pg diploma in Sport Psychology and is active in a number of outdoor sports.

Nathan Bennett

I have been paddling for 4 years now with Erne Paddlers and I have loved every minute of my adventures. I have my 3* in Sea, Surf, River & Open Canoe and I am a Level 2 Coach for the Club.

I have just completed my Whitewater River Leader training and I am working my way toward my assessment to share the excitement of the rivers we all love paddling. 

My favourite paddles with Erne Paddlers have been sea kayaking at Slieve Tooey and a day trip to Tory Island in Donegal.

I look forward to seeing you on the water and Happy paddling!

Timothy Boyd

I have been paddling now for 4 Years, and it feels like longer. I've had so much fun. I started with a Beginners course in collaboration with my high school and Erne Paddlers, the one PE class I can say I actually loved.

I really wanted to continue paddling so I went to the club and started playing Kayak Polo, an intense, competitive sport for flatwater kayaking. Played that for about 2 years weekly before joining the Junior Leader Development program. Now I am a qualified paddlesport instructor I Coach 2-3 times a week and I am working towards my white water leader award. 

In the past year, I have also joined the Admin team for the club helping with the huge amount of work that goes into running the club.

John Sammon

Growing up next to the lake has always given me a love for water sports. I was introduced to paddling at a very young age. It was when my dad bought an old battered up canoe and fixed it up that I first got out on the lake in a canoe. Throughout my childhood I loved canoeing and as soon as I found out about a local club I thought where do I sign up. Since then I have hugely developed my skills and met many new people while making lots of friends. I have tried many different disciplines of the sport; some of which I didn’t even know existed. Although it can be cold, I love the opportunity to get out on a river or surfing as I really enjoy the thrill of kayaking in rough water. I also love to get out in my own play-boat and mess around. I would like to learn more tricks.

After spending a few years in the club I decided I wanted to progress my skill level even more and become a paddlesports instructor. From this, I have enjoyed passing my skill on to others and watching them develop from things that I have shown them how to do.

Patrick Walsh

I have been paddling for 4 years & in 2017 I joined Erne Paddlers to progress my skills. I started with bringing my kids to their pool sessions but enjoyed it so much I volunteered to do some coaching. Since then I've gone on to qualify as a Paddle Sport Instructor & am currently working towards Whitewater Leadership.

Having said all that, just getting out paddling with friends is what I love most about it! 

My background & interests... 

I'm a Father, husband, woodworker & a brown sauce /white van driver type fella. 

Interests are anything that involves being outdoors; camping, tree climbing, the sea & of course paddling. 

Some interesting facts about me (I hate this part!)... 

I've done work for Gordan Ramsey & my products where used at a recent royal wedding. 

Erne Paddlers has given me great opportunities, not only for my water confidence & building coaching awards but I also get to take my kids along on our paddling sessions so it's great for family time & making memories.


Isaiah Solomon is a Level 2 ICU coach. His outdoor sports journey began in Leitrim where he studied outdoor sports and recreation. He developed a strong passion for watersports especially whitewater kayaking. Isaiah has paddled many whitewater rivers in Ireland, NI and abroad. He also developed a passion for coaching and introducing others to outdoor activities. Isaiah has worked at many outdoor centres, both local and abroad, teaching various outdoor activities. He is active in a range of outdoor sports and is always keen to get out paddling.

Jon Kelly

Jon Kelly is one of our long-standing club trained Level 2 coaches. He has enjoyed being an avid member of E.P since it's early stages of development and has manned the paddles as a club committee member and kept the club accounts for a number of years. Jon has progressed through levels of paddling development within the club, gaining L3 in the river, surf and sea. His long-standing interest is kayak polo which he has focused on and coached since the club invested in a set of polo kayaks many moons ago. Jon has a polo referee certificate and can often be heard to say 'when are more paddlers coming to polo!' Jon has worked with young people as an art tutor, teacher and learning assistant and brings this experience to his coaching. Recently he has brought his creative workshop skills too bare on fabricating a ply and glass canoe and is currently designing and building his first kayak :)


 I am a relative newcomer to paddling having first sat in a kayak in 2017 at one of the club's introductory courses. After a fairly intense learning curve and a lot of time spent on the water, I qualified as a Paddlesport Instructor in late 2018. I’ve long been fascinated by all things coast, sea and lough and for me paddling is one of the best ways to explore and observe nature from an angle that not many people get to see. I particularly enjoy journeying and sea kayaking and am always looking to increase my knowledge and skills to become a better paddler. I feel privileged to live in such a beautiful area with so many waterways to explore and to be part of this club.


I was introduced to paddling in 2010 and I haven't stopped ever since. It has been the most amazing journey, taking me to places I never even knew existed. Adventures I never thought I would have. Discovering our beautiful planet and having that sense of freedom. I like to take part in all water sports. Or anything to do with the wonderful outdoors. I have been helping out with erne paddlers for a few years now it's really helped my coaching skills and given me opportunities to progress in my own personal paddling. I've met some amazing people along the way who have become my friends. Paddling has not only great for fitness but is fantastic for the mind. 

I'm a level 2 coach, training for my white water leader. Greenland rolling has played a huge part in paddling life, so much so that I've been making paddles now for quite a few years, each paddle getting better every time. And now I teach yoga on paddleboards and yoga for paddlers. Paddling has always been a form of meditation for me, being in nature, being in the moment, living in the now.