The renaissance of
university rowing in Ireland
University rowing in Ireland is undergoing a renaissance with a more professional and progressive approach now being taken. Gearoid Towey
looks at the reasons why and what the future may hold.
Ireland does not have a rich tradition of Olympic
sports. Stadiums are packed every week with
thousands of spectators watching the national
games of gaelic football and hurling. Olympic Games
come second to Gaelic Games in the Irish psyche.
In US and UK universities, sporting success is
a high priority. Rowing is often a major sport
because of its global Olympic status and with that,
comes amazing talent - coaches and athletes.
University is an important place for young people
to mould themselves as adults and this also
applies to athletes. Some of the world’s best
rowers have come from strong university club
backgrounds where they were developed and
nurtured as athletes and students. In this regard,
Irish university rowing has had to fight to survive
against the national status quo. >
Trinity College Dublin
women’s crew in action
at the Irish National
Olympic sports have been challenged at every
level in Ireland, most importantly in the fact that
the national game has sucked talented athletes
away from Olympic sports and kept them insulated.
University is often the place where young people
try alternative sports for the first time - rowing
included. This leaning towards Gaelic sports
has placed the sporting development of Irish
universities in a catch-up situation when
compared to other nations.
Issue 17 – August 2011
© Watersedge.com/Rowing Ireland