Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht Jack Chambers and Sport Ireland Chief Executive John Tracey completed the final metres of the hugely successful Road to Tokyo challenge on Friday afternoon.

Rowing Ireland and Get Going Get Rowing set an almost impossible task to schools and Rowing clubs all over the country on the 23rd of April  2021, exactly 90 days before the kick off of the Tokyo Olympics.

Schools and Junior, Senior and Masters rowers in river, offshore and coastal clubs across the country were challenged to row the distance from the National Rowing Centre in Cork to Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo Bay – a combined distance of 23 million metres – over the course of 90 days ahead of the start of the Olympic Games.

Despite the daunting task, over 40 schools and 30 river, offshore and coastal clubs quickly got behind the initiative and started clocking up the metres. 

There were stand out performances from schools such as Castletroy College, Co. Limerick, (979,000 metres) Mount Carmel, Co. Dublin (728,000 metres), Colaiste Mhuire Askeaton (465,000 metres) and St Brigids, Killarney (452,000 metres) who clocked up an impressive 2.5 million metres between them.

From the rowing clubs, the initiative received a great boost from St. Michael’s Rowing Club, Limerick on the very first weekend when they completed a marathon row and clocked up a huge 3.5 million metres between the club members. There were also stand out performances from Castleconnell Boat Club Limerick (over 6 million metres) and Cove coastal rowing club, Co. Antrim (over 1.5 million metres).

Many families were also involved clocking up massive km’s including the Kinsella family from Wexford who clocked up 2.1 million metres between them. Lastly the initiative saw some stand out individual performances from Karen Hutchinson, Cove Rowing Club (368,000 metres), Seamus O’Sullivan Muckross (over 600,000 metres) and a mind blowing 3.1 million metres from Ciaran O’Connell from Waterville and Castleconnell Boat Club.

Now with the campaign coming to a close Rowing Ireland and Get Going Get Rowing are looking forward to Ireland’s Olympic rowers doing us all proud in the Olympic games.

Rowing Ireland CEO Michelle Carpenter said; “I would like to thank Minister Chambers and Sport Ireland Chief Executive John Tracey for their support in completing the Road to Tokyo challenge as well as all their help in funding the Get Going Get Rowing programme over the last number of years to build its success. 

“It has been brilliant to see so many people young and old across the country getting involved in Rowkyo ahead of the Olympic Games. The initiative has proven to be a fun and interactive way to build momentum ahead of a historic games for Rowing Ireland, which has seen the largest squad of Irish rowers in history and a record six crews qualifying for the games.

“Support for all our athletes is vital ahead of the Olympics and I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part in Rowkyo over the last 90 days. “