Get Going…Get Rowing is five years old today and what a success story it has been. Although the name of the programme was used a number of years earlier, the initiative as it exists today was established only five years ago and today it can claim the accolade of engaging over 85,000 individual students in centres across the country.
In February 2014, Rowing Ireland received a small amount of funding under Women in Sport to drive the programme forward and Get Going…Get Rowing was established in Dublin city partnering immediately Dublin City Council Sports and Well-being. By April they were working with Kathryn Wall and the team in Carlow Youth services and Carlow Rowing Club setting out working on the TY or TrY Rowing programme where TY students had the opportunity to train to be rowing coaches. This, a peer led course doubled the numbers and by end 2014 Get Going…Get Rowing had engaged 5,000 individual students that more than doubled its initial targets. Galway came on board in early 2015 engaging schools like Our Lady’s College which have seen a massive transition to Galway Rowing Club. Not long after Limerick came on board with dormant accounts funding. Cork followed suit with a successful and fruitful partnership with Cork Sports Partnership that has led to the expansion of the programme in the City and county with groups of all ages and all abilities.
In July 2017, the programme worked with the World Rowing Development team and was involved in the establishment of the Olympic Values Education programme. A programme that today is delivered in schools across the country. A bag of balls and cups may not be what one normally see’s around an ergometer, however, fun, interaction and learning values such as respect, fair play and the value of water are the outcomes of these fantastic games and learnings.
Starting from humble beginnings the programme is now receiving calls from local Sports partnership daily even in those counties where we as a sport have no rowing clubs. The numbers transitioning to clubs are big with large membership of Carlow Rowing Club and Commercial and Neptune female membership coming from the programme.
The Blitzit event has now a calendar of events all over the country and now together with Waterways Ireland and Dublin city Council the programme holds a splash and dash on the water event every year. 250m of beginner rowing in the heart of Dublin and Limerick city. Again, fun, interaction and all around happiness and engagement through rowing.
On its fifth Birthday Get Going…Get Rowing will not stop to celebrate but instead students will be hammering out at a #Blitzit event in UL, Limerick. Partnering Limerick Sports Partnership and schools across Limerick, Clare, Cork and Tipperary. Engaging 700 excited students from around Munster. We wish all the Get Going…Get Rowing team every success as they plan new endeavours and partnerships.
A massive thanks to the board, staff of Rowing Ireland, clubs from Rowing Ireland and integral partner and friends (you know who you are) who took the leap of faith in 2014 and invested in this small programme that has shaped the story of indoor rowing across the country.