THE Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive, has just recently been awarded the title of Best Outdoor Event for the second year running, having secured the most public votes in the OutdoorNI.com Awards in association with Surf Mountain.
Having received over a third of all votes, event organiser Beverley Pierson from Outdoor Recreation NI explains why she thinks the Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive has earned the winning position: “This event is now in its second year and has surpassed all our expectations and we believe its success lies in the ongoing determination of our team to always better the event, the magnificent scenic and challenging route, its ability to cater for all levels of cyclist and the welcoming atmosphere in Ballycastle.”
The Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive was up against some stiff competition with three other very successful events being nominated in this popular category, all equally eager to get their hands on the award. Votes piled in all over the month of December and with it receiving 37% of all votes, this certainly shows the event organisers determination to raise the bar in terms of what they offer to visitors.
When announced as the Best Outdoor Event in Northern Ireland, Miss Pierson added: “This is such a significant achievement for us as we were up against some of the top outdoor events in Northern Ireland. To know that our event is and has been the most popular outdoor event in Northern Ireland for the past two years is amazing and we will certainly be hoping to build on this for future years”.
Also from the North Coast to receive awards were Port Moon Bothy for Best New Outdoor Activity Venue after receiving nearly half of all votes within its category and Coasteering NI for Best Thrill Seeking Activity Provider.
Port Moon Bothy, a converted fisherman’s cottage, was converted to provide basic accommodation for canoeists and is situated along the world famous Causeway Coast between the Giant’s Causeway and Dunseverick Castle, being only accessible by sea.
Picking up the award, Robin Ruddock from the Causeway Coast Kayak Association, who were one of the key players in its restoration, commented: “We believe the bothy offers an unforgettable experience for canoeists in a truly unforgettable location. When restoring the building we wanted to create a homely feel to it so that visitors would not just see it as a bed for the night but also appreciate and look after it and we sure that this is what sets it apart”.
Coasteering NI, which operates from Ballintoy, secured just under a third of all votes under the Best Thrill Seeking Activity Provider. Owner and founder, Stephen Brown, explains what he thinks the success behind his business is.
“Coasteering is growing rapidly in Northern Ireland which will have certainly contributed to our success but we definitely believe the success ultimately lies in our delivery of this exhilarating activity including our friendly instructors to guide the brave and the not so brave and the range of scenic locations we use giving people the opportunity to see parts of the coastline from a different perspective”.
Host of the awards, Chris Scott, OutdoorNI.com’s Activity Tourism Manager, said: “This is now the second year of the OutdoorNI.com Awards and the competition has certainly been a lot stronger as more and more new event organisers come on the scene and existing ones start to employ more fresh and innovative ideas to their events.
“So to get nominated, let alone win, really is great recognition and a well deserved pat on the back for any business. There really is no better way to highlight all the hard work and efforts put in by the people behind these three projects than by a public vote. A big well done to all involved”.
As well as recognising event organisers at the top of their game, the OutdoorNI.com Awards also highlighted the best activity providers, innovative products and venues across Northern Ireland.
The sponsor of the awards, Surf Mountain founder Nick Stevenson, commented: “We at Surf Mountain have always prided ourselves on being from Northern Ireland. All our staff our outdoor enthusiasts and so we were delighted to have the opportunity to support local venues, events and progressive outdoor providers. All the category winners and indeed nominees should be incredibly proud of their achievements this year.”
For more information on the Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive, Port Moon and Coasteering NI and indeed other activity providers, events and venues recognised in the OutdoorNI Awards visit OutdoorNI.com