With rowing, you can compete in a team or as an individual. Rowing is an amazing all-round, non-impact sport that exercises every muscle in the body. You will get plenty of fresh air, improve your endurance, and moreover we guarantee that you will have so much fun.
Rowing is a sport that offers an opportunity to get involved both on and off the water. It’s a great way to meet friends and at Rowing Ireland we encourage people to have lifelong involvement within the sport. There are many reasons to give rowing a go; health reasons, perhaps to try something new, or be more adventurous with your exercise routine. There is also the thrill of competition. Rowing can provide you with all of these opportunities and so much more. Rowing can be taken up at any age and we welcome members aged 8 to 88 in many of our clubs.
Whether you’re looking to take up a new sport, change from another sport, sign your children up for fun summer camps, or just simply interested in giving it a go, rowing has something to offer you!
Am I too old to take up rowing?
Rowing is a non-contact and non-weight bearing sport that is easy on the body, so is suitable for all age groups. There are many active ‘Masters’ (27 years+) rowers in Ireland, competing in events both nationally and internationally, but recreational, non-competitive rowing is also very popular. See our Masters Page, or contact us for details on a club that can cater for you.
How will I learn?
In general, you will learn in wider, more stable boats than the Olympic types you would see on the TV. For the first few sessions, many clubs will put you in boats with more experienced rowers, who will be able to teach you the basics of the rowing stroke, and rowing terminology.
What type of training will I do?
The majority of training that rowers do is focused on developing aerobic capacity, either on the water or indoors on rowing machines (or ‘ergs’). This is supplemented with weight sessions and cross-training sessions – usually cycling, swimming or running.
Elite rowers train 2-3 times a day, seven days a week!
Do I need to be able to swim?
Yes, at a minimum you should be able to swim 50m unaided in your training clothes.
How long before I can row properly?
You should be able to take part in competitions within a few months, racing other rowers at a similar level; we have a ‘Novice’ category, which caters for beginners.
Rowing is a highly technical sport, and athletes spend years trying to perfect their technique and achieve the ‘perfect’ stroke. Even Olympic gold medalists still have technical improvements to make!
Are there opportunities for people with disabilities to take part?
Para-rowing is a type of rowing which has been adapted to cater for people with disabilities. See our Para-Rowing Page for details on how you can get involved.
Does it cost a lot to join a club?
Some clubs offer week-long learn-to-row courses or free taster sessions that you can try before you commit to joining the club as a full member. If you decide that you want to join the club after that, there is usually an annual Club Membership fee, which covers insurance, equipment, coaching and Rowing Ireland affiliation fee. Fees for membership and for courses vary from club to club, and they may offer reduced rates for juniors, pensioners or students.
Is it very expensive?
You don’t need to buy any special equipment to start, your club will provide boats and other equipment for you.
You don’t need to wear any special kit to start with, regular sports clothes will do; try to avoid wearing anything too baggy as it could get caught up in the sliding seats, or the oars. If you decide to take up rowing competitively, the only piece of clothing you will need to buy is a one-piece in your club colours, these usually cost around €50.
Some rowers choose to buy their own equipment, usually, those competing at an elite level, and these can be expensive; a new single scull can cost upwards of €8000!