Delegates from clubs around the country will get to choose the president of Rowing Ireland come the annual general meeting on October 31st.
Three candidates have put themselves forward. Each has graciously agreed to make their case on RowReport.ie
Here are their pitches. The names were randomly picked out of a hat to determine the order in which they appear.
My name is John McCarthy and I am presently chairman of Cork Boat Club. I am married to Jean and we have three children (two boys and a girl) all of whom have rowed at some time. As you will appreciate, they are the most important thing in my life.
I have decided to seek your consideration for the role of President of Rowing Ireland. I will begin by saying that should you opt for one of the other candidates I will completely accept your judgement and continue to work to improve the sport.
It is a reasonable question to ask, why would I have such an interest? I have not sought such office before, why now?
I have a growing sense that a focus on domestic rowing is long overdue. I believe we need a “stocktake” of our sport to assess if it is responding to the needs of clubs and athletes.
My view is that to be successful in this endeavour all clubs need to speak and be heard. During the many discussions I have with clubs from every province of the country I, like many of my fellow rowing colleagues agree that the sport we love faces many challenges. For instance, why do we only have about 3,000 registered athletes (pre Covid) which, by national sporting standards, is a small number.
There are more things that we have in common than separate us. I have many thoughts on how we might respond to some of the challenges we face. I want to hear what the clubs have to say on these key subjects and if successful, I will work through the branches to develop a strategy for our sport through consensus, dialogue and ultimately put in place any agreed measures that address these challenges.
I believe we are too small a sport to allow parochial or regional interests outweigh the needs of the sport nationally and that is how I present myself to you.
My name is Leo Gibson. I am the Honorary Treasurer of Rowing Ireland and will be running for the office of President of Rowing Ireland at the AGM. I rowed for the the UCD senior eight and subsequently sculled competitively for seven years. I rowed in Lucerne, Essen, Nottingham and at Henley, in the Diamond Sculls.
I run a management consultancy specialising in advising and financing startup businesses.
As Treasurer for the last two years (and a Director for four years before that), I have presided over a very successful programme to keep Rowing Ireland financially stable during the Covid enforced lockdown and have also been able to ensure that rowing clubs had access to over €90,000 of Government Covid funding during the Lockdown. We are probably the most financially stable of all medium sized sports in Ireland this year as a result.
As President, I would aim to continue to make Rowing Ireland more useful to clubs and, in particular, to ensure that the branches are given the resources to develop rowing and rowing clubs in their provinces. I am keen to see a stronger flow of young people into clubs from the Get Going Get Rowing programme and the wider takeup of the new online coach education programme. I am also keen to see the wider development of Masters Rowing which I see as key to retaining oarspeople in clubs where they can be of more assistance to club administrators and coaches.
I was responsible for devising the first Masters Handicap System which facilitated racing across many age grades in the 1990s which was partly responsible for the subsequent big increase in Masters rowing. I will also work to stage an annual International Masters Regatta in Lough Rynn, utilising the many contacts built up our Masters crews over the years.
Hi, I am Susan Dunlea.
Professionally, I have a BSc.(Hons) Estate Management Surveying along with a Diploma in Accounting and Finance. I’m a property surveyor (Valuations) at the State Valuation Office and a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors (SCSI) and the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV).
My involvement in rowing spans 25 years, across all aspects of the sport. My rowing career started at Monkstown & Cork Harbour Rowing Club, where I won a championship. I am the event secretary for Cork Regatta, the biggest regatta outside of the Irish Championships. I’m a member of the Championship and Umpires Committees. I have been a key player in the hosting of the Coupe de la Jeunesse and the Home International Regatta, last held here in 2018. I have been the Team Manager for the Rowing Ireland Senior Team and I have also served on the Board of Rowing Ireland as the Honorary Treasurer.
I believe that as President of Rowing Ireland I would move rowing forward.
The need for thinking outside the box is vital in order to grow and retain our people within clubs. I will ensure that clubs are supported, invested in and highlighted.
A better strategy and plan for the Provincial Branches going forward is a must. Collaboration with branches will lead to the development of our athletes, coaches and other personnel.
Rowing Ireland hosts some exceptional events. However, a more professional approach must be taken towards the University Championships and the Schools Regatta.
Capital Investment into our infrastructure is imperative. Ireland needs to be able to showcase our sport on a larger stage.
If elected, I will support every club. I will recognise and support the wonderful volunteer aspect. I will build on and support the outstanding achievements of our High-Performance athletes at international level. I will endeavour to move our sport forward, provide resources to all our clubs, champion the growth of our sport and make rowing a sport for all.