As a culmination of 18 months of work on the R.O.S.E. project, our team of coaches and eight young people travelled to France to participate in a Youth Rowing and Cultural Week April 4th – 9th. We joined other athletes and coaches from both Portugal and France. Everyone had a fantastic fun-filled week.
Together, we piloted the new rowing lesson plans created by our coaches to enhance rowing in schools and clubs. We had rowing relays, erg relays and coastal rowing on the Atlantic. The young people enjoyed some river rowing at the rowing club in Saint Nazaire before embarking on an exciting treasure hunt which involved teams following a map and rowing to various different points on the lake. The Irish weather followed us over to France making it extra fun on the water in the wind and rain. The young people went rock pooling with a biodiversity expert and to an aquarium to see some amazing marine life. They also got to experience the Saint Nazaire Renversante and Submarine Espadon. It was great to see all the different nationalities communicate and learn new languages.
The R.O.S.E. rowing conference was held on the 7th of April in Saint Nazaire. This was attended by the French National Minister of Education among many other distinguished guests from both Portugal and France. Jessica O’Keeffe presented at the R.O.S.E. project round table for Clare Sports Partnership and spoke about the project in Clare and the mission for the future. Derek Bowen presented Get Going Get Rowing for Rowing Ireland. The French Federation for Rowing presented their schools’ rowing project. The city councillor of Viana do Castelo, Ricardo Rego presented his city’s innovative multimillion-euro water sports project which has redefined sport in their city.
Well done to everyone who represented themselves and their rowing clubs – St.Michaels and Castleconnel. Well done on creating some innovative rowing drills for health, inclusion and the environment. Many thanks to our international project partners for their input and organisation. The next step now is identifying areas in County Clare for a new rowing club. The coaches who travelled as part of the action group were Jessica O’Keeffe, Lizzy McNicholas, Derek Bowen, Eamon Enright, Suzanne Quinn, Anouk Delimata and Justin Sherin. Overall, the week was jampacked with unforgettable experiences and incredible lifelong friendships were formed both for the young people and the coaches. As one of the athletes asked, ‘When can we do this again?’
If you have any interest or ideas in helping to develop rowing in County Clare – whether it’s school, club or community-based – please contact our the Project Lead for CSP (Ireland) Jessica O’Keeffe – firstname.lastname@example.org