ONE of pioneers of kite surfing in Ireland and owner of the country's first dedicated Kite Surf School, Wexford man Niall Roche is taking the leap again with the opening of a new watersports centre in Rosslare this June.
'Hooked on Rosslare' will officially open on Monday, June 13, offering camps and instruction in sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, stand up paddle-boarding, body boarding and kite-surfing, as well as hosting an innovative floating water park.
The water activity instructor opened 'Hooked on Duncannon' seven years ago on Duncannon Beach and plans to run both operations in tandem with a team of instructors this summer.
Niall said: 'It's a really exciting time for the business. We are delighted to be opening a full offering water-sports centre in just a couple of weeks at Rosslare. I have been giving lessons in Rosslare each summer for a number of years now and it is a stunning beach, really safe with good opportunities for the right wind directions in order to teach kite-surfing too.'
Niall will have six instructors working with the camps, groups and individuals booked for lessons at 'Hooked on Rosslare' and three staff will work at the 'Hooked on Duncannon'.
He has invested €15,000 in order to get the 1,000 square foot centre located on Rosslare beach up to standard and has put in place the innovative new novel water park which will be buoyed off the beach for the summer season.
'I've been working in water-sports for over ten years now. Personally I don't think there is any other job in the world that I could or would do with such passion and enthusiasm. I think that going to work with that attitude everyday is a recipe for progress. This coupled with the incredibly beautiful location that Rosslare is and the drive in tourism both nationally and regionally will see "Hooked on Rosslare" growing into the future.' Outside of running two water-sports centres Niall and his wife Christina are organising the annual Irish National Kite Surfing Championships, which will take place on Duncannon beach on August 14.
The competition will see mens, women and junior category kite surfers demonstrate their skills, airs and speed in a series of course racing and hang-time competitions over the weekend.
According to Niall: 'It's a 'breeze'! I love it; in kitesurfing you're going at 40 km an hour, barely touching the water.'
Hooked on Rosslare will cater for groups of up to 25 at any given time and will offer summer camps in all of the watersports catered for at the centre on a weekly and a daily basis from June. For further details see www.hookedonrosslare.ie.