The Ballyhass Outdoor Project

What is it?

Welcome to the Ballyhass Outdoor Project. We have been providing outdoor experiences for over 15 years now. We think we have a learnt a thing or two in that time and have come to realise that we have been making changes to peoples lifes just by running our day to day buisness. If we could do this almost by accident, what can we do when we really put our mind to it?

From 2016 onwards we are on a mission to get people outdoors. Whether that is to reintroduce someone who has been spending less time outdoors, or introducing someone else to an outdoor world that previously might not have exsisted for them. The research is there, being outdoors is healthy, healthy for your body, for your mind and for your general well being. Join us on our journey of outdoor discovery and maybe change your life or that of someone you love. This is our moonshot thinking. We want to make a difference to peoples lifes. We are going to do that through the great outdoors, a place that has helped us to make a living for 15 years and somewhere we are deeply passionate about. 

Check out some of things we are doing under The Ballyhass Outdoor Project;

Ballyhass Wakeboard & Kayaking Scholarships

The Ballyhass wakeboarding scholarship was started in 2015 when we took 10 local school students and put them on a free 16 week Learn to Wakeboard Course. This is completely free for the students who come for a 3 hour class every Wendesday. Not only do they learn how to wakeboard, they learn the origins of the sport, get in touch with the sports top pros, learn about water saftey, group management skills, social media and blogging skills not to mention spending more time outdoors!

Status: Underway. On target for 20+ graduates by June 2016

Projected Timeline: Ongoing for the forseeable future 

Update September 2016: Applications now being taken for 2016/17 Scholarship. Full details click here.

*** New for 2016/17 Brand new kayaking scholarship! Not only are we continuing the wake scholarship but we have expanded and added an entirely new course The Kayaking Scholarship. We are super excited to get students from the local community out into the moving rivers around Munster and make them into the best Kayak and outdoor ambassadors we can. Full details click here.

                              

Disadvantaged Group Days Out

We deal with groups everyday. It is the bread and butter of our business. We know that we have to deliver the best possible outdoor experience for our groups in order to stay on top in the Irish outdoor sector. We also know how hard  it is for group leaders to organize, finance and promote a day out. Whether that is schools, youth groups, teams, or clubs everyone faces the same challenge. We also know that for some that challenge is too much. Whether it is finance, transport or any other of a million reasons, some people can not get to us. We want to change that. Each month we will select a group of up to 15 participants and take them for a free session of activities. The outdoors is for everyone. Let us help you. If you know a group that for some reason can't get to us but could benefit from the initiative please contact us now. Email info@ballyhasslakes.ie

Status: Now taking applications. 

Timeline: First group day out April 2016

                                

Ballyhass Team Volunteer  Day 

It was a real eye opener when we started to dream up The Outdoor Project. Looking at what we were doing and more importantly what more we could do to help people we did a stock take of our assets. What was our biggest asset? It was obvious - Team Ballyhass! You can have the best facilities in the world but if you dont have a quality team behind them you wont go far. Luckily we do and they have taken us a long way in our relatively short history. 2016 will be the first season that we will be donating a full day of team labour to a worthy (outdoors orientated) project in our locality. We have upwards of 40 staff that will take part in the initiative so we are hoping a days work will go a long way to a worthy cause. We are now investigating local projects that would coincide with The BH Outdoor Project. If you know of somewhere, we would love if you could send us an email to info@ballyhasslakes.ie

Status: Now looking for volunteer opportunities

Timeline: Will take place August/September 2016

                                                      

Poster awareness campaign

Doing research for the BH Outdoor Project to find out just how we are benefiting people by getting them to spend time in the outdoors, we were amazed by how much of an impact just spending a little bit of time outdoors can have on people, families & organizations. The research is all there and might seem like common sense in some cases. But to us it makes perfect sense! We want to share what we found with the country. We are starting by teaming up with our awesome illustrator Cathal Duane to come up with a series of educational posters to bring the benefits of outdoors into everyday life. Did you know that ADHD suffers who spent more time outside showed remarkably less symptoms?? If your organization would like to get involved and help share our posters we would be delighted if you could reach out to us. Info@ballyhasslakes.ie

Status: Under development March 2016

Timeline: Launch June/July 2016

                                                  

Corporate Outdoor Development

We believe that habit is key to our mission. More particularly - breaking habits. If we want to encourage people and organizations to make more time to get outdoors, we want to give them the motivation, tools and show them examples of successful real life scenarios. Getting your family, friends or co workers to find an extra 5 minutes to get outdoors is just a matter of changing habits. But who are we to preach? We want to lead. This season we will be developing a staff program that gets our team offsite for some sort of outdoor experience every other week. We will be detailing the methods we use for funding the outings and giving organizations a full report on uptake, positive impacts, cost to the business and obstacles in the way. Stay tuned to our blog to see how are team gets on each month. By the end of the season we will have a full plan in place that you can readily incorporate into your business. 

Status: Under development March 2016

Timeline:  Starting April 1st (Team Hike) / Implementation Plan Due November 16

September 2016 Update: 

Staff trips this season have included Bouldering Trips, Coasteering, Kayak Surfing, Paintballing, River Trips, Boat Wakeboading, Bi weekly wakeboarding.

                                                  

Ebook and Get Outdoors Experiment

With a similar view to above and breaking habits this time for individuals, families, children and old age pensioners. We will be creating an interactive ebook with our experience throughout the project, our findings, what went well, what was challenging or what was insurmountable. Included will be our get outdoors experiment. A timetable of little changes you and your family can do in your daily lives to let the outdoors and nature have an impact on you. Hopefully our experiences in this project will be enough to inspire you to make small changes in your life. If we can make a difference to just a handful of people this will all be worth while to us. If you think you might be interested in taking part in our outdoor challenge experiment we would love to hear from you. Ideal for families, schools, retirees, or anyone who would like to spend more time outdoors and believe it will make a difference. 

Status: Started Janurary 2016

Timeline: Testing Sept/Oct / Publisihng early 2017

                                                

Ladies Outdoors

Ladies outdoors and ladies in sport are all targets of the BH Outdoor Project. Over the last few seasons since opening the wakepark we have seen the amazing impact of our lady only mornings where the participants can come and take part in the company of their peers. It has been a great confidence builder for our regulars and also been a great way to meet new friends and learn a new lifstyle sport. We will be continuing this under the BH Outdoor Project and adding extra events throughout the year aimed specfically at women. Tea & coffee mornings, yoga before wake sessions have all been pitched so please if you have an interest reach out and get involved. The more peole we can have on board the bigger the chance of success. Follow our blog and social stream for all upcoming events. 

Status: Ongoing for foreseeable future

Timeline: Ladies events June through September