Pull like an Olympic champion: Three places in Cork where you can learn to row

The success of Ireland's rowers at the Tokyo Olympics is sure to increase interest in the water spot at home. here are three ways you or your child can dip a toe into the world of rowing
Pull like an Olympic champion: Three places in Cork where you can learn to row

Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan are bringing gold medals home to Skibbereen. Picture: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Skibbereen Rowing Club 

If you’ve been inspired by Ireland’s Olympic gold medallists, why not take up rowing in their own club? 

Fintan McCarthy and Paul O'Donovanwinning gold medals in Tokyo. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Fintan McCarthy and Paul O'Donovanwinning gold medals in Tokyo. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Would-be members are welcome to meet the club’s rowers at 10am each Sunday morning and if you decide to join, you can fill in a club application form and arrange to pay for membership.

If your child is starry-eyed and considering taking up a new hobby after being impressed by the athletes in Tokyo, the Skibb club also offers a teaching programme for local primary schools which lasts for six weeks and teaches children how to row on a rowing machine as well as on the water. They receive a certificate at the end of the programme and their club membership lasts throughout the summer months. See skibbereenrowingclub.com for more details.

Lee Rowing Club 

Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen
Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen

If you stroll down the Marina, you’ll find the Lee Rowing Club, the oldest commercial rowing club in Ireland and the base of Tokyo 2020 athletes Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen. The club is always accepting new members and each prospective rower has an initial free trial period of up to four weeks to try out the sport.

For beginners, water training takes place on Sunday mornings and land training on Tuesday evenings and the club supplies all equipment. The club also runs week-long summer camps for children aged 11 to 14. For more information see leerowingclub.com.

Shandon Boat Club

Rowers from Shandon Boat Club on the River Lee. Picture: Larry Cummins
Rowers from Shandon Boat Club on the River Lee. Picture: Larry Cummins

Next to the Lee Rowing Club is the Shandon Boat Club, which offers 'learn to row' courses for both adults and children.

For children, each July the club runs a beginners course for those aged between 11 and 15. While the course is always fully booked each year, applications for the camp can be made at any time and are taken on a first-come basis. They also take in junior beginners into the club in September, October and November.

For adults who want to learn to row, courses are on offer from time-to-time for those who have never rowed and who are interested in rowing for recreational purposes. These courses typically take place over a number of weekends in the off-season between November and April. For details, visit shandonboatclub.com/learn-to-row.

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