Rowing Ireland are delighted to announce the launch of the Club Culture Toolkit. This toolkit aims to assist clubs to achieve a great club culture and improve gender equality through a 12 step process. 

This toolkit was designed through a process of research with the membership of Rowing Ireland via a survey of over 1150 members including junior rowers, masters rowers, senior rowers, coaches and committee members. The results highlighted gaps between the genders in terms of perceptions and attitudes. Positive club culture and gender equality practices are essential for progressive Rowing Ireland clubs.

A series of workshops will be held to support clubs through the process. These will be led by the women in sport officer and expert external facilitator Dave Denieffe. 

  • January 17th information session
  • February 21st (sign up HERE)
  • April 18th 
  • September 5th 
  • November 21st 

The research project began in November 2021 after a successful application to the innovative research scheme by Sport Ireland and Healthy Ireland in the Sport Ireland Research Strategy 2021. Rowing Ireland worked together with Leading Sport Agency on this project to lead the research and the project was completed in November 2022. 

A series of workshops supporting clubs in implementation and use of the toolkit will take place throughout 2023, with the Rowing Ireland Women in Sport officer, Ceara O’Connor, and facilitator and sports governance expert Dave Denieffe Vice-President, Academic Affairs at South East Technological University and Club Development specialist. 

A full research report accompanying the toolkit can be downloaded below.

Michelle Carpenter, CEO of Rowing Ireland had this to say about the Club Culture Toolkit: 

‘’ Rowing Ireland are thrilled to have completed this significant project that will support our clubs. Thank you to everyone who took part and provided valuable insights. The vast array of our membership who took the time to input into this shows the importance for everyone involved in our clubs.

This toolkit will now support our clubs to develop their own club culture strategies and refresh their club culture. I am delighted that this initiative will further support our clubs by providing recommendations on how to influence culture and ensure greatest lifelong participation with the club and our sport. 

I want to thank Sport Ireland for once again supporting us in funding this exciting project under the Women in Sport initiative. A huge thank you to Ceara O’Connor who supported and took the lead in completing this project. Thank you also Claire Lambe who supported the project with the collaboration of Maeve Buckley. The findings of the project will provide great insight for our clubs as we strive to support them.

Funding came from Sport Ireland and Healthy Ireland in the Sport Ireland Research Strategy 2021. Rowing Ireland were successful in receiving funding from this research scheme. 

Nora Stapleton, Women in Sport Lead at Sport Ireland had this to say about the toolkit: ‘’ 

The Rowing Ireland Club Culture Research Project is one of the few projects of this nature to be delivered by an NGB but perhaps one of the most important. While the research analysis highlighted several positives within clubs, it also highlighted gaps between the genders in terms of perceptions and attitudes, particularly in relation to inequality perceived by female coaches and how they are treated, as well as females not feeling comfortable in providing honest feedback to the club leadership. Positive club culture and gender equality practices are essential for progressive clubs in Ireland today and Rowing Ireland have taken an innovative approach to addressing these issues. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being part of this worthwhile project and I’m looking forward to seeing the toolkit being implemented across clubs in Ireland. I think this project has highlighted the value of conducting projects on your club culture and perhaps something other NGB’s might consider.

All this information has been emailed to Rowing Ireland club secretaries also. Any questions or queries can be directed to womeninsport@rowingireland.ie