From Skibbereen to London
I joined the Powerhouse team in 2009 after hanging up my international oars following the World Championships in 2008. Rowing has been part of my life since I first joined my local club Skibbereen at the age of 14 but never in my wildest dreams did I think it was going to shape my life in the way it has. It was amazing to first row for Ireland at the Home International regatta in 1995 and then I was fortunate to continue to have an unbroken 14 years of rowing for Ireland at different levels from Junior Worlds(6th place) to U23(silver and bronze) to Olympic Games(6th place) to Senior Worlds(silver and bronze). There were many different highlights along the way but I guess the one that is most memorable was rowing the final at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games in the lightweight mens 4 where we finished in 6th place.
The year that all of the hard work came to fruition was in 2005 when I was part of the lightweight 4 which won a silver medal at the Senior World Rowing Championships in Japan. I remember thinking at the time that it was 10 years almost to the day that I had raced in the junior 16 2x at the Home International regatta and now I was part of a boat that was the 2nd fastest in word.
When the opportunity came up to join Powerhouse I jump at the chance to continue to be involved in rowing. Having spent 15 years wearing rowing kit for a few hours every day I know just how important quality kit is in the life of rowers; I enjoy using my experience as an athlete in developing the range of kit and also helping clubs and individuals customize their kit with the quality and style that Powerhouse sport can provide.
Although Powerhouse sport is based in Northern Ireland, I am now based in London where I can have a more direct contact with the UK clubs. Although I hung up my international oars in 2008 I have picked up an oar again and over the last 2 years I have been rowing with London Rowing Club. My most recent race was the Scullers Head of the river where I started 5th but slipped to 19th overall but for a race that had over 500 boats I guess I can’t be too disappointed with my performance. I guess that’s the funny thing about rowing, once it gets a hold of you it is impossible to ever turn your back on it.