International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. 

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is Choose to Challenge and Rowing Ireland chooses to challenge gender stereotypes and unconscious bias we have to women in sport participation, coaching and leadership!  

Rowing Ireland are celebrating International Women’s Day and building on it with a week long ‘Women in Rowing’ campaign. 

The first day of Women in Rowing Week, focuses on Leadership and we kick off with our Making Waves leadership series (tonight at 7pm). The first session in the series is ‘Mentoring and Networking’ delivered byEliza Downey, Rugby International and development consultant, with insight from Annamarie Phelps, rowing Olympian, vice-chair of British Olympic Committee and member of European Rowing Board. 

Also, today we have published Rowing Ireland’s current snapshot of Women in Leadership. The following infographic highlights, where we need to improve and where progress has already been made. We currently have 31% female board members and 31% of river clubs and 43% of coastal club committees are female. 

We hope you get behind International Women’s Day with your teammates and your club, post and tag @Rowing Ireland in your efforts, and join our week long celebration of Women in Rowing. 

#InternationalWomenDay #ChoosetoChallenge #WomeninSportIRE


Next week kicks off with International Women’s Day on Monday, 8th March. 

Rowing Ireland will be celebrating International Women’s Day and have plans to build on it with a week long ‘Women in Rowing’ campaign – focusing on Leadership, Participation, Visibility, Coaching and Officiating. Throughout the week we will introduce new initiatives, such as the Making Waves Leadership webinar series and the Balance is Better programme for adolescent rowers. We will also release our ‘Women on the Water’ podcast and highlight the great women in our sport and the work being done to achieve gender parity. 

As well as participating in some of the Rowing Ireland initiatives, we encourage you to highlight International Women’s Day in your own club. 

The following are some suggestions on what you and your club can do to mark IWD next Monday:

  • Celebrate women’s achievements within the club by acknowledging them on your club’s communication platforms
  • Run a Social Media Campaign posting pictures with the IWD pose and what the club or members ‘Choose to Challenge’. 
  • Highlight and thank your club females or your male gender equality advocates
  • Host a Zoom Club Quiz, focusing on achievements of women, in sport or outside sport
  • Run a photo challenge with your squad – striking the IWD Choose to Challenge Pose. 
  • Decide and set a collective club challenge for 2021 eg. increase gender balance in participation, coaching or leadership; challenge unconscious bias, challenge gender stereotyping. Or highlight gender equality targets already set! 

We hope that you and your club will show your support and #ChooseToChallenge this International Women’s Day.

Remember to tag @RowingIreland in your posts so we can reshare them far and wide! 

Making Waves – New Women in Leadership Webinar Series launched by Rowing Ireland & Triathlon Ireland

Rowing Ireland and Triathlon Ireland are pleased to announce a new series of Women in Leadership webinars, ‘Making Waves’. The collaboration will see a series of interesting and educational leadership development webinars taking place over a period of four weeks, with the first one taking place on International Women’s Day. 

The ‘Making Waves’ series will give women the opportunity to learn from the best, as expert speakers will cover a variety of relevant topics. Women in Sport Lead for Rowing Ireland Claire Lambe outlines;

“Rowing Ireland are delighted to partner with Triathlon Ireland to offer this webinar series, Making Waves, to the women at the forefront of our sports. The aim of the workshops is to give women the opportunity to learn from the best in their field in the areas of communication, mentoring, resilience and governance – empowering women to take roles of leadership in their clubs and sport. This initiative is in line with our long term goal to achieve gender balance in all aspects of rowing in Ireland.”

Leadership development is also an important area for the Triathlon Ireland Women in Sport Strategy, as Anna Grealish of Triathlon Ireland explains, it is also central to the webinar series;

“Our ‘Beyond the Finish Line’ Women in Sport Strategy looks at all areas of triathlon where we can make a positive change. We want to support all areas of growth within triathlon and create opportunities for women to develop their own personal skills. Leadership development is fundamental to this. We believe in creating great role models and feel that providing support in leadership development will equip women with the skills to take on new roles within the sport.”

The series will be free and is open for all to attend, although prior registration is required. ‘Making Waves’ will be of particular interest to those looking to increase their responsibility within their club environment, joining a committee for the first time, taking on a leadership role within their club, or those looking to learn some new leadership skills for their own personal development. 

Webinar Details

Monday, 8th March7pm – 8pmMentoring & Networking
– Finding a mentor
– How to be a mentor
– The importance of networking
Eliza Downey
Head of Engagementat Jo Hopkins Consulting

AnnaMarie PhelpsOlympian, Chair of British Horse Racing, Member of European Rowing Board
Monday, 15th March7pm – 8pmStep Up
–  Courage and Confidence- Know your value, find your voice- Make a difference – move outside the box
Barbara Nugent
Leadership Consultant and Coach with Transilient Coaching Limited

Olive Loughnane4-time Olympian, Director of Transformation, Board Member at Sport Ireland
Monday, 22nd March7pm – 8pmUsing your Voice
– Communication Skills- How to be assertive – Understanding club culture and how to influence it. 
Sinead Galvin
Communications and Sponsorship Consultant

Joanne Murphy, TriTalking Sport
Monday, 29th March7pm – 8pmGovernance & the Leadership Pathway
– Committees and their role- Effective governance
– The journey to being a Board Member
Hosted by Sarah O’SheaSOS Sports Consult and Honorary General Secretary Olympic Federation of Ireland

Aoife Habenicht, Board Member, Rowing Ireland
Anna Deegan, Board Member, Triathlon Ireland


Making Waves Webinar – Women in Leadership

This month we are putting the Women in Coaching Spotlight on Heidi Giles. Heidi is Captain of Tralee RC and coaches both the junior men and women. As you will see from Heidi’s interview, her energy and enthusiasm for coaching has not waivered since she started coaching, 8 years ago.

Heidi shares the memories that keep her going through Covid; the pleasure and satisfaction she gets from coaching in more normal times is palpable. Heidi shows, with a determined and proactive attitude, you can progress from helping out with some gym sessions to become a valuable lead coach for a club.    

Please check out our interview with Heidi:  WiC – Heidi Giles.

Check out our previous Women in Coaching Spotlight Interviews under the Women in Rowing section of the website – Showcasing our Role Models.

If you would like to highlight any of your female coaches as a role model for this interview series, contact Claire;