Belfast Telegraph

Bog Snorkelling Championship challenges Belfast ecologist

Stormont Executive press release - Department of the Environment

East Belfast adventurer, Georgina Milne, is aiming to be the Women’s 2013 Champion as she prepares for this year’s Bog Snorkelling Championships.

The annual Championship, organised by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), is being held on International Bog Day at Peatlands Park, Dungannon on Sunday 28th July from 11am to 5pm.

Bog Snorkelling is a unique sport which involves completing two consecutive lengths of a 60-yard (55m) bog drain, in the shortest time possible.

This year Georgina - a QUB Ecology PhD student - is aiming to better her previous time to become Northern Ireland’s Champion Lady Bog Snorkeller.

Georgina, whose research revolves around understanding the impact that climate change has on how species live and evolve, said: “I have always loved trying new and unusual things.

“At last year’s event, I showed up not knowing what to expect, but ended up being reasonably competent, coming fourth and then third in a similar ladies event in Monaghan. This year I’m hoping to swim as fast as I did last year although I expect the competition to be a lot tougher.

“The best thing about bog snorkelling is the social side. I’ve made so many friends and encouraged my own friends along as anyone can do it. It’s more about being enthusiastic, spirited and determined as opposed to being a technically brilliant swimmer, although a lot of people from the swimming and triathlon communities give it a go.”

Concluding Ms Milne added: “Last year was such a good day for both the snorkellers and spectators, it’s so much fun cheering everyone on and a brilliant camaraderie develops for all involved. Even if you don’t fancy trying it, I can strongly recommend watching a few of the lengths and learning about our great natural heritage.”

Northern Ireland’s event is a winner already as it took third prize in the Britain’s Favourite Quirky Event category voted for by the public in a poll run by Countryfile Magazine in September 2012.

Full details on: http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/International-Bog-Day-and-NI-Bog-Snorkelling-Championships-Dungannon-P28771

Notes to editors:

1. A range of pictures of Georgina Milne in action in and around the bog drain are available from the DOE Press Office.

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