Last weekend Rowing Ireland together with Sport Northern Ireland and Sport Ireland, Women in Sport held a weekend of women in coaching empowerment and development. The initiation of the event commenced last February when Rowing Ireland held a woman in rowing workshop in Co. Kildare. As a result of this initial event the outputs suggested that women in the sport of rowing in Ireland needed more empowerment and mentoring in order to transition our numbers from on the water to the bank and into club committee’s and boardrooms.

The weekend began in Portadown Boat Club, Co. Armagh where eight coaches took part in the mentoring day. The women who attended were facilitated and encouraged by Olympic medallist and twice Olympic coach Laryssa Biesenthal. The weekend was also facilitated by Pat McInerney (Rowing Ireland, Coach Education officer) and Gordon Reid (Club and Coach Development officer). The participants on Saturday coached men and women’s crews. The outcomes were positive and all participants felt encouraged and enlightened to continue on the coaching ladder in order to have eight more women coaching in Northern Ireland.

On Sunday the group switched to level two and three coaches who were invited to attend the day. The coaches were given the opportunity to coach senior crews together with a crew formed as a result of junior squad trials. Laryssa Biesenthal mentored and encouraged all those taking part bringing her wealth of experience of Canadian and Australian coaching into the launch. The results were extremely positive as the day drew to a close and those taking part will be allocated sponsors in their respective clubs. A group chat/forum was also set up for the coaches. There was an open Q&A session for all men and women to ask the questions to the coach and athlete from 3pm-4pm.

The day concluded with a request to hold more events of this calibre to facilitate these women who have already completed levels of the coach education programme and to encourage them to get out on the bank and in the launch. It was noted that as a result of the weekend – Rowing in Ireland now has women paving the way for those who will come in the future, giving already immediate success to the weekend.

The weekend would not have taken place without clubs and crew coaches facilitating and getting behind the initiative and we would like to thank all those who willingly gave their crews and equipment and changed their training plans for the weekend. Without this buy in from clubs the weekend would not have taken place.

In particular:

Portadown Rowing Club (members and committee), Andrew Coleman DULBC, Eunan Dolan, Frank Moore & Pat Ferrick, Neptune Rowing Club, Damien Kelly, Garda Boat Club, Ray Morrison & Fran Keane, Rowing Ireland junior coaches

A short video/slideshow is attached giving a roundup of both days.





  • February 10th, 2017