ROWING Ireland is delighted to announce Quish’s SuperValu Ballincollig as the main sponsor of the 2018 Irish Rowing Championships taking place at the National Rowing Centre in Farran Wood next week from July 13 – 15.
The championships regatta is the highlight of the Rowing Ireland club calendar and will attract up to 3,000 rowers, their coaches, officials and sports fans from across Ireland to the National Rowing Centre in Cork for the biggest rowing event of the year.
It will also be the first event in Rowing Ireland’s inaugural international Festival of Rowing, which includes the Home Internationals Regatta between Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales on July 21 and the prestigious Coupe de la Jeunesse regatta from July 27 – 29 which will bring junior rowers from 14 European countries to Cork.
Quish’s SuperValu Ballincollig, which this week won a coveted Best In Fresh Award for Ireland’s Best Dairy and Cheese Counter Offering from food industry magazine, Checkout Ireland, has pledged its continued support for the Irish Rowing Championships in 2018 following the success of last year’s sponsorship, in order to help build the international success story that Irish rowing has become while also building links between the National Rowing Centre, its athletes and the local community.
The family run business which holds a Deloitte Best Managed Company Platinum Standard Award, now has three stores – in Tramore, Co. Waterford, the flagship Ballincollig store and the recently purchased Main Street Ballincollig store, which is currently undergoing a revamp and is set to become one of Ireland’s premier small supermarkets, with a particular emphasis on fresh and healthy foods.
Cormac Quish, of Quish’s SuperValu, said the company was eager to support Rowing Ireland because its athletes’ values and work ethic reflect those of Quish’s staff and stores.
“We have high standards in business and fresh food and rowers have high standards in fitness. We’re a big employer in Ballincollig and we’re involved in various corporate social responsibility activities in the town because we believe in supporting local talent and causes. But there’s an international aspect to the National Rowing Centre. It’s a hotbed of international rowing success and we wanted to do what we could to bring the rowing centre and the local community in Ballincollig closer together,” he said.
Cormac, who rowed for a period during his school days, said he gained a personal insight into how tough the sport can be, even at junior level. Despite this, he’s keen for his own children to give rowing a go when they get older.
“I rowed for a bit in the past so I know how hard it is, even at junior level. We were out training five days a week running up Strawberry Hill in Cork and I remember the feeling of incredible pain on the rowing machine. But the hours and work the top-level Irish rowers put in is phenomenal.
“I think rowing is one of the hardest sports to succeed in and to have World Champion and Olympic medalists from Cork training hard out here in Farran Wood, just out the road from us in Ballincollig, it’s so impressive,” he said.
Cormac said he and his Quish’s SuperValu staff have also become familiar with several of Ireland’s international rowers who live in the local Ballincollig area and shop in the flagship Ballincollig store, inspiring customers with their healthy food choices.
“We knew Sanita Puspure before we got involved with Rowing Ireland. She’s been rowing internationally for a long time now so we knew who she was and we’d recognise her in the shop. And we’ve seen the O’Donovan brothers in and out of the shop as well over the years. It’s great to see the athletes around the place inspiring everyone with what they’ve achieved. It’s great for kids to have them to look up to.
“Rowing is definitely a tough sport but if a kid gets into rowing, it’s going to teach them discipline and self-control and there’s a chance of achieving major success as well if they work as hard as the likes of Sanita and the O’Donovan brothers, so we’d love to encourage that if we can. I’d love to see my own three boys getting into rowing when they’re older,” he said.
The Quish family got a taste for the Irish Rowing Championships in 2016, having attended the event in a personal capacity before coming on board the following year as the event sponsors.
“I’d been out to the Champs with my kids in 2016, just to spectate, before Rowing Ireland’s Olympic success and I was very impressed. It’s a big sporting event with a real festive feel and it’s great to hear so many accents around the place from all over the country. There’s always a lot of well-known people around for it and last year we met Minister Simon Coveney, who is now of course An Tánaiste, so we gave him a bit of a hard time for what he’s doing with Brexit!
“But really, we’re delighted to be part of the Irish Rowing Championships. We consider ourselves part of the Ballincollig community and we make a big effort to support clubs, organisations and community groups that do a lot of good work and benefit the community and we’re very much looking forward to this year’s rowing Champs,” he said.
Welcoming Quish’s SuperValu support, Chief Executive of Rowing Ireland, Michelle Carpenter said: “We are delighted to have the continued support of Quish’s SuperValu Ballincollig as the Irish Rowing Championships 2018 sponsor.
“It’s fantastic to have a committed sponsor that not only has platinum management standards and understands the sport but who is also very much a part of the community.
“We hope to continue building the relationship with Quish’s SuperValu and we encourage our athletes, staff and volunteers to visit their Ballincollig stores for their fresh foods and healthy produce.
“We look forward to welcoming Cormac, his family and staff to the National Rowing Centre in Farran Wood for the Irish Rowing Championships 2018 and we hope he will accept our invitation to present some prizes throughout the weekend.
“This year’s regatta is expected to have its biggest entry ever and we’re very excited as it also kick starts Rowing Ireland’s inaugural Festival of Rowing which will see international rowers from all over Europe competing in Cork over the last three weekends in July.”