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The 2017/18 BH Outdoor Scholarships are now open

Returning for our 4th year both our Wakeboarding and Kayaking scholarships are taking applications.

Our Ballyhass Outdoor Project Scholarship program has been one of our most successful initiatives to date and is now entering into its 4th year with approaching over 50 students having passed through the scholarship program and over €10,000 of free instruction time and wakeboarding cable time donated by Ballyhass lakes to the scheme.


The Ballyhass Outdoor Project is our initiative to get more people into the outdoors. We do this in various ways like free enabled days out for local groups. Benefits of the outdoors awareness health campaigns & corporate responsibility programs etc The scholarship program has however been the cornerstone of the project and we are excited to bring to back to the local community in 2017/18


In 2016 we expanded the scholarships from just Wakeboarding to a second stream: Kayaking version. The same format applied with students being selected through an application process from any local school willing to take part.


For 16 weeks starting in October each year and finishing in May students are put through their paces in their respective disciplines. Every week they will be on site and in the hands of our expert coaches learning everything they can about Wakeboarding and Kayaking. Successful applicants not only learn how to wakeboard and kayak but also learn all about the sport, from different sporting disciplines, brands & equipment, professionals & personalities within the sport and finally the potential of career in the sport or in the outdoor industry. On the latter all applicants are interviewed subsequently for summer jobs at Ballyhass.


The scholarships started off as a way for our coaches to work on their skills and techniques to coach these sports to the best of their abilities. We wanted a way to experiment with different coaching techniques and exercises along with the time needed to display our passion for these sports to recurring bunch of students. But this has now morphed into an established custom course that will give the participants time away from the stresses and repetitiveness of their daily school lives and open a world of outdoor sports away from the traditional team sports that often doesn't suit everyone.


What does each scholarship involve?


Both scholarships will ask the participants to be on site every Wednesday afternoon from 1pm to 4pm. There will be about 10 weeks before Christmas and 6 weeks again after a Winter break when the waters warm around March. Each session will be a mix of time on the water and theory class sessions.


While the wakeboarding will stay on site at ballyhass throughout the 16 week course, the kayaking students get the opportunity to get out on some of Ireland’s wild rivers and sea ways.


Both courses are given certificates by the sports governing bodies throughout the scholarship.


The students will be asked to do research on particular topics in their down time throughout course. In the past this has been to set up social media accounts to promote the sport to their local community, friends & family and keep everybody updated of their progress. Others have been to contact pros within the sport to ask their opinions and all ranges of topics between, gear, techniques and lifestyle. Last year the students were tasked with setting up clubs so that their peers could come and learn with the scholars support and give sporting outlets to all local youths.


There is a large part of the course dedicated to the social media side of these adventure sports. Students will learn how poorly funded adventure sports utilizes the free online tools to build their sports and their careers. We will promote and encourage safe use of these tools and online behavior in general. We believe that students these days have the world at their finger-tips and we want to demonstrate how they can leverage this into an amazing lifestyle and career should they choose that path.


At the end of the course students will be require to put a presentation together with all the work they did and present it to their class.


Fact File:

  • When Does its start? End of september/ Start of october depending on amount of applications.

  • How long does it last? 16 weeks; two semesters 8 weeks before Christmas a Winter break and a further 8 weeks after.

  • What day and how long each week? Wednesday afternoons from 1 - 4pm. Kayaking scholars will require a few full days off during the course but these can be arrange for weekends if necessary.

  • Do I need to take time of School? The course is primarily designed for TY students in Cork you will have half days on a Wednesday and encouraged to take part in extracurricular activities. Most TY co-ordinators are happy for you to take an hour off to take advantage of the opportunity.

  • Do I have to get to Ballyhass myself? Yes, only apply if you know you will be able to be dropped off at 1pm and picked up at 4pm.

  • Do I need any previous experience? Absolutely not, this is for absolutely anyone with any level of ability.

  • What kind of candidates are you looking for? At the end of the day we are looking for ambassadors for each sport. People are enthusiastic, encouraging and friendly. Above all we want to see your passion for the Outdoors.

  • I don’t like being outdoors in bad weather will it ever be cancelled?  This is a big one guys, this course is primarily taught in winter, if you think cold and rain will bother you this may not be the best choice for you.

  • Do I need my own equipment? Absolutely not, we provide everything you need. If you have your own wetsuit that is beneficial but not necessary.

  • Do I have to be in TY? No, we have taken students outside of TY before, but not those in exam years. If you are applying please check with your year heads first to make sure it is ok for you to leave early on a Wednesday.

  • How do I apply? Download and fill out the application pack below and send it back in ASAP. Everyone who applies will be given a free taster session for your chosen discipline. What do you have to lose? Apply and get out on the water.

  • When is the deadline? ASAP. We are always in a rush with this. We are constantly running a race against the Irish Winter. The sooner you get it in the sooner we can get you in for a taster. If we find suitable applicants on a first taster we will close the applications at that point.

  • When will the taster session take place? Generally on a Wednesday at 4pm. We mostly will take groups for the local schools at the same time.

  • Can I apply for both? Yes, but if successful you will only be allowed to complete one. They both take place at the same time. If the taster sessions are taking place at the same time you will need to pick at that stage.

  • Does doing a scholarship mean a job at Ballyhass? No, but it will definitely help your job application process. You will know the centre and staff well at that point and that will mean alot to us. 


Download Wakeboard Application Pack Here:

Download Kayak Application Pack Here: