By Denis Hurley
SKIBBEREEN Rowing Club haven’t become the most successful club in the country by resting on any laurels, so it’s no surprise to see the focus turn to the future as a mass of new membership applications is expected.
While chairman Tony Walsh enjoyed the huge occasion that was Monday night’s homecoming for Gary and Paul O’Donovan, he’s looking ahead.
‘Once the homecoming is over and done with, attention turns to the next rowing season,’ he says.
‘It’s all go in Skibbereen Rowing Club, there’s never a dull moment and long may it continue!’
Any and all aged ten and over are welcome to stick their oar in (pun intended), with Walsh expecting an increase in interest as a result of the O’Donovans’ heroics.
‘There will definitely be a surge of interest,’ he says, referring to the ‘O’Donovan factor’ of the brothers’ success.
‘We are hoping to visit a lot of the local schools as well when they come back and allow as many young children as possible the opportunity to meet the lads and hopefully, spark further interest in the sport of rowing.
‘There are about 50 full-time members working within the club right now, but we would expect to, at the very least, double that number in the next few months.
‘We have dedicated coaches looking after all our rowers from the ages of 12, 14, 16 and upwards. A strong committee is present within the club to keep everything ticking over and heavily involved in fundraising.’
For anyone who feels that the thought of getting involved is too daunting, Walsh is keen to allay fears.
‘Sunday mornings are set aside for complete beginners, adult or child, to come down to the club and try it out,’ he says.
‘We have a schools programme that has worked out very well in recent times, as well as a successful summer camp that has steadily grown in numbers over the past few years.
‘We are fortunate to have such fantastic, modern training facilities at our disposal too. We have a big boat house, including a lot of boats that are used exclusively for training and all the equipment you could possibly need to become part of our club.’
• To join Skibbereen RC, those aged ten and upwards can call club captain Seán O’Brien at 086-3378472. For further information, visit www.skibbereenrowingclub.com or find the club on Facebook.