Skibbereen Rowing Club is hoping they’ll sell like hotcakes after Gary and Paul O’Donovan stormed into the hearts of the nation on Friday when they claimed silver in the men’s lightweight double sculls, while also creating TV gold with their interviews.
The ‘Gary & Paul’s Crew’ t-shirts, part-sponsored by Skibbereen Credit Union, will help towards the rowing club’s goal of extending the old clubhouse, and building a proper slip and floating pontoon from which to launch their boats.
The t-shirts, costing €15, are available through the Skibbereen Rowing Club website and from Skibbereen Credit Union, the Corner Bar in the town, and Minihan’s Bar, Lisheen.
They are expected to become a collector’s item, as they mark Ireland’s first ever Olympic medals for rowing.
The club, founded in 1970, has produced five Olympic competitors in 16 years, with many more firmly eyeing up their place on the Irish team for Tokyo 2020.
Six club members will travel to Rotterdam in the Netherlands in the coming days to compete at the junior and senior world championships. The club also has one athlete competing at the World University Games in Poznan, Poland.
Seanie O’Brien, captain of Skibbereen Rowing Club, said they were delighted to launch the t-shirts.
“It will help the club to invest in our rowers and ensure that we can continue to improve and build for even more future Olympians. It is difficult to believe that this club, which does not have much of the basic equipment found in many gyms has produced two of the world’s best oarsmen,” said Mr O’Brien.
“This is down to the spirit of the club, the unrelenting drive of Dominic Casey, all of our volunteers, and, of course, the ambition and commitment of Gary and Paul.”
Skibbereen Credit Union chief executive Donal O’Driscoll said it is delighted to be able to support the rowing club.
The club expects the T-shirts will sell out ahead of the brothers’ homecoming celebrations at 7pm on August 29.
People can also donate to the club, which is a registered charity, through skibbereenrowingclub.com.