Masters rowing in Ireland

What’s masters rowing like in Ireland? Gerry Murphy is Chair of the Masters Representative Committee for Rowing Ireland.

A big increase in member registration has happened and masters are now 18% of total rowing registrations. Clubs see the benefit of having masters groups. There are many other regattas offering masters events – they will put in events entries secretaries are generally willing. Many heads of the river – Galway and Enniskillen – which include masters. Overseas guests are welcome in Ireland.

Most clubs have some form of masters rowing group – including Skibbereen who started a group recently. Gerry’s club, Neptune, started an adult learn to row class and most of the graduates are in the rowing leisure group – there are 70 members now. They do tours and exchanges with clubs in France and Portugal. Innovations in masters rowing.

There is a coach education programme.

Most clubs want masters because they see the benefits as they volunteer and grow the club. The 1k Classic (Carrick on Shannon) is a new event which Gerry hopes will become the official Masters Rowing Championships in future.

Future plans – a proper structure for masters programmes development, coaching development, a co-ordinator for masters in every club who can give guidance. It would be nice to get better equipment as well, possibly dedicated masters boats. External guidance to Rowing Ireland may be possible for masters. We love it and we have a smile on our faces – folks are jealous of us. Gerry encourages people to find their level in the sport and enjoying that.