By Tara Hanlon PRO 2019/20.
UCC Rowing Club is one of the oldest and most successful clubs in the University beginning in 1868. Since 2012 the club has been based out of the National Rowing Centre a 15km lake out in the Inniscarra Dam. This lake is complete with a 2000m rowing course which hosts the National Rowing Championships every year as well as the National trials. The lake is also home to the High-Performance Rowing team which enables all our athletes to train in the same environment as the highest performing athletes in the World and thus go on to join them on the world stage representing the college. Recent developments at UCC Rowing club include continued addition to the comprehensive fleet of modern racing boats including 2 Filippi 8+’s. The club also has access to the squad weights gym in the Mardyke arena so our athletes can make use of the top-quality equipment and coaching provided there.
Rowing at UCC encourages athletes to compete at local, National, and International regattas, become part of a great social scene here in Cork, make new friends and improve your fitness. UCCRC caters for all skill levels from the raw novice up to the experienced senior and prides itself on helping students to realise their potential on the water. We currently have 5 athletes on the Quercus Scholarship including 4 time World Champion and Olympic Silver Medallist Paul O’Donavan. Many of our students train full time as part of the High-Performance team of Rowing Ireland and we are proud to support these athletes in their bid for Olympic success this year. Paul O’Donavan as well as Ronan Byrne another one of our Quercus Scholars have both qualified boats for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Ronan won a Silver Medal at the Senior World Championships and was also European Single Sculling Champion. We also have many other students who are making bids to qualify boats next May at the final qualification regatta. This is an absolutely exception achievement for both Paul and Ronan and a huge honour for UCC Rowing Club.
As well as the huge amount of International success the club has also been very successful on the Domestic level. In 2018 UCCRC was the most successful University at the National Irish Championships wining a total of 4 National Championships. These were all in male class boats however the women have dominated the success in 2019 winning 2 National Championship titles. These athletes show tremendous work ethic balancing their studies as well as a rigorous training regime. UCCRC also lets their athletes compete in various regattas abroad such as the Heineken Roiverkamp in Amsterdam Netherlands and London Metropolitan Regatta in the UK. These trips are fun social occasions that allow athletes to experience other cultures as well as compete for their college.
The club’s success speaks for itself and we can only expect bigger and better things from UCCRC in the coming years.