More than 1,600 athletes representing over 60 clubs from all four provinces will travel to the National Rowing Centre in Farran Wood, Cork next weekend for the highlight of the Rowing Ireland domestic calendar which takes place from Friday July 13 – Sunday July 15.
The National Rowing championship, or the ‘Champs’ are they are more commonly known, will see a large Limerick contingent travel south in search of the most coveted of Irish titles.
This year’s event will have an international element and a real festival feel with visiting crews from the U.S and U.K. also taking part.
Limerick's rowing community will be represented by Limerick Boat Club, St Michael's, Castleconnell and Shannon.
Shannon Rowing Club have junior boys and girls rowing. They have a girls Junior 4, two pairs and a club 8, a junior 15 sculler in Roisin Hickey and a boys junior 16 4X.
Castleconnell boat club will take 20 plus crews to Cork. The Co. Limerick based club are currently on a rich vein of form.
In what is a busy time for rowing, Castleconnell will be sending 11 junior rowers to represent Ireland in the upcoming U-23 World Championships (Conor Mulready and James O'Donovan), the Coup de Jeunesse (Rory O'Neill, Lauren O'Brien and James Desmond), while they will also be represented at the Home International Regatta by Damien Ryan, Ben Frohburg, Norma Silke, Saoirse Byrnes, Niamh Kiely and Ciara O'Brien.
These rowers, coupled with senior men's sweep star James Quinlan, will all row for their home club at the ‘Champs’ this weekend.
Also representing Limerick rowing this weekend are Ryan Spelman and Ellen Murphy of St Michael's. The duo have also been selected on the Coup de Jeunesse Irish squad for the upcoming championships in Cork on July 21.
St Michael's are also to be represented in the green of Ireland by Sheila Clavin. Sheila is part of the senior women's sculling crew who also boast the skills of Georgia O'Brien from the UL Rowing club.
It is not on the water that Limerick will have a presence at the upcoming Coupe. St Michael's Pat McInerney will be the lead coach on the Junior Men's sculling team. Pat will be responsible for overlooking the performance of O'Neill, Spelman and Desmond in what is one of the World's most renowned rowing events of the season.
Indeed, such is the weight put behind the performance of rowers at the Coupe de Jeunesse, that American colleges have begun to stand up and take notice of the excellent performances of Irish rowers at the championships.
James Quinlan, the Limerick Leader Sport, Young Sports star of the year and winner of two medals at last season's ‘Coupe’ has recently secured a scholarship to Princeton.
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