Today’s focus as part of Women in Sport Week looks at women in Leadership and Governance. Read more below about our exciting new leadership course with Sarah O’Shea and an opportunity to get involved at board level governance.

We have two exciting and important opportunities below for women to grow and become more involved in leadership and governance in rowing, from grassroots to board level. First, we have a new Leadership Programme for 12 participants selected via application process and secondly, we have spaces for Independent Directors and would welcome female applicants.

Women in Leadership

The Women in Sport Leadership course, run by Lisa Clancy and Sarah O’Shea, has seen over 270 women take part since its commencement in 2020 and many of the course graduates have gone on to chair committees, get jobs in sport, be elected to board positions, be elected to European sport committees and a range of other local and national successes.

This is a fantastic opportunity for females working in leadership roles or those aspiring to be a leader within their Rowing Ireland club and regions e.g. committee members, umpires, coaches etc.

6 participants from Rowing Ireland have already undertaken the course. Our 2022 participants:

Shauna Fitzsimons of UCD BC (UCD Captain and Chair of the University Championships Committee, Student Sport Ireland Leadership Award winner 2022)

Margaurite Deasy of Ring RC. (Club Leadership Mentor 2022, Offshore Committee Chair 2022, Team Manager of the Irish Beach Sprints Team at the World Rowing Beach Sprints finals (WRBSF) as well as Chair of the Irish Offshore Rowing Championships.)

Mary Moore of Garda Siochana Boat Club. (First female Captain of Garda Siochana Boat Club. Supported the development of the first Junior Program at the club.)

This highly successful course is an extremely rewarding, informative and enabling programme.   The course is fully interactive and participants are provided with an insight to all facets of leadership through a series of 5 online and 1 in person session.  Participants are encouraged to fully immerse themselves in the course which is designed to build confidence and enable participants to have a great connection with each other establishing valuable network of powerful women. This course is suitable for all female club leaders or aspiring club leaders such as committee members, coaches and other volunteers.

Course Content

The course modules include the following core topics:

·  Leadership and Values

·  Networking and Collaboration

·  Challenge and Resilience

·  Crisis Management 

·  Communications and Developing Your Personal Brand

·  Influencing and Change 

·  Governance

Participants will also receive a one-on-one coaching session and guidance in producing their own Personal Development Plan.

Modules will also include inputs from 4 guest speakers relating their own personal leadership experiences.

Dates (you should be available to attend all sessions):

  • April 17th and 24th (Monday evenings) from 7pm-8.30pm online via zoom
  • May 1st, 8th and 15th (Monday evenings) from 7pm-8.30pm online via zoom

and Sunday 21st May  (11am-2.30pm in person / Dublin Location TBC)

To apply please fill in the form below. There is a poster attached to circulate to any women in your club who may be interested.

Independent Directors on the Board of Rowing Ireland

We have two vacancies on the Board of Rowing Ireland in 2023. This is an inspiring time for the sport, particularly with Paris 2024 fast approaching. As an Independent Director, you will have the opportunity to shape the future of our sports organisation and make a real impact. You will work closely with the rest of the Board to develop strategies, set goals, and make critical decisions that will shape the organisation’s direction. Our vision is “Spearheading excellence, strong clubs and rowing for life.”

The Board has identified a need for the following skills:

Accounting / Financial Management

Legal / Company Law

Communications / Commercial / PR

We would prefer that each Director have at least one of the above skills.

The Board of Rowing Ireland shall comprise at least 40% of each gender among the directors, and any committees shall endeavour to reach a similar composition. We encourage applications from every community, particularly those currently under-represented. We run a comprehensive induction process for all new Board members.

We are looking for applicants who are independent of our sport, perhaps even unfamiliar with our sport, who will join a Board and enable us to collectively question, challenge and discern to make better decisions. We seek applicants with strong leadership skills and a commitment to excellence. Whether or not you have experience in sports management, business, or a related field, we encourage you to apply.

The current Board comprises 9 Directors and is led by the Chair. Within the Board is a Board range of skills and experiences.

Our current Board members can be seen on our website

Expected Commitment

  • The Board meets approximately six times a year, on a Saturday or Sunday and holds additional meetings as the situation requires. 
  • Meetings usually occur at Sport HQ in Blanchardstown, Dublin, at 9:30 am. 
  • Occasionally, meetings are held at alternative locations around the island of Ireland. 
  • Expenses are reimbursed per our Travel & Subsistence Policy (which will be made available upon request to applicants shortlisted for interview).
  • You will be required to complete Induction Training as arranged by or provided by Rowing Ireland.
  • You should be prepared to spend at least two days per month on company business after the induction phase.
  • Independent Directors are expected to join and participate in one or more Committees. 
  • Successful applicants will be Garda Vetted before formally joining the Board.
  • The term is three years.

This is a unique opportunity to make a difference in the world of sports and contribute to our organisation’s growth and great success.

If you are interested in joining our Board as an Independent Director, please submit your cv and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to Valerie at  By 5:00 pm on 10th March 2023

We look forward to hearing from you.

Interviews will be held during the week beginning 20th March 2023

For an informal conversation on the role with any Board member or the CEO, please email the Chairperson, Martin Hogan, at


On Saturday 22nd of October, club committee and leadership representatives participating on the ‘Making Waves’ 2022/23 programme, attended a workshop on Club Development and Planning.

Participants from the Making Waves programme, a Women in Sport initiative, met in person on Saturday at the Sports Campus in Dublin, travelling from clubs all over the country to complete a workshop based around club development, club governance and how to lead operational and strategic club development plans. This programme is run in tandem with Triathlon Ireland so club leaders from Triathlon clubs around Ireland were also in attendance.

The women on the programme have been meeting online to complete evening workshops on various topics in club leadership since the programme began in September and will now work with experienced club leadership mentors to action a development item and experience the benefits of mentoring sessions.

A longer term goal of the programme is to create a network of female club leaders – (committee members on this programme) who can support each other in not only sharing experience and advice to improve their club’s development but importantly, their enjoyment of volunteering in the sport so that we can retain the talent of these females in rowing.

An update on the programme’s progress will be reported later in the year. Many thanks to our excellent facilitator David Denieffe, who is an expert in the area of Club development.

The participating club leaders are listed below:

Alison DalyUniversity College Dublin Ladies Boat Club
Sandra CallaghanNeptune Rowing Club
Mary BonnerTralee Rowing Club
Catherine PetherbridgeNeptune Rowing Club
Susan WalshShandon Boat Club
Mary Ann KentArklow Rowing Club
Caroline OBrienBelfast Rowing club
Aoife WillisAthlunkard Boat Club
Deirdre KearneyNewry Rowing Club
Averil HeslinCarlow Rowing Club
Fiona KellyColaiste Iognaid Rowing Club
Niamh-Ann SherlockCastleconnell Boat Club
Sharon MurphySkibbereen Rowing Club
Louise RubinNeptune Rowing Club
Teresa KeeneyLoughros Point Rowing Club
Dineka MaguireCommercial Rowing Club / Kincasslagh Rowing Club
Fiona KellyColaiste Iognaid Rowing club
Emma TownsendCarlow Rowing Club

On the 24th of September, The Women’s Coaching Pathway programme kicked off its first session for the 2022/2023 intake.

The Women’s Coaching Pathway is an exciting collaborative programme between Rowing Ireland, Cycling Ireland, Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA), Athletics Ireland and Triathlon Ireland. The programme gives females the opportunity to improve their knowledge, expand their network and develop leadership and coaching skills in a supported, collaborative environment.

The programme launched in 2020 and over the last two years 55 female coaches from Athletics, Rowing, Triathlon, Cycling and Boxing have received support in personal and professional development, mentorship, coach education and co-coaching experience.

This year, we are delighted to have Louise Drohan of Waterford Boat Club, Sharon Murphy and Denise Walshe of Skibbereen Rowing Club, Rebecca Burke of Belfast Boat Club , Bria Mc Guinness of Commercial Rowing Club and Eithne Tiernan of Shandon Boat Club participating in the programme. Jo Hopkins and Eliza Downey delivered an excellent first session with the programme participants with a focus on personal values, decision making, and leadership dynamics.  

The aim of the programme is to assist in the progression of our coaches along the pathway and participants and create a community of practice amongst the coaches from the various NGB’s.

Throughout the programme, participants will have the opportunity to further develop both leadership and team dynamics, enhance their authentic leadership under pressure, understand how they can lead change, whilst building their network and exploring varying coaching skills.

Rowing Ireland is looking forward to working more closely with our programme participants who clearly demonstrate a desire to progress themselves, their sport and their athletes. For more information, please contact Ceara at

Female Coaches Networking Day – 6th of November 2022

Athletics Ireland, Cycling Ireland, Irish Athletic Boxing Association. Rowing Ireland and Triathlon
Ireland are delighted to announce a Networking Day for Female Coaches across these sports.

The Networking Day will be held at a Dublin venue on Sunday 6th November from 10am – 3pm and
will be open to all female coaches across Athletics, Boxing, Cycling, Rowing and Triathlon. The event
will be fully funded through the Women in Sport budget from Sport Ireland and will be completely
free for NGB registered coaches to attend.

The Networking Day has been established off the back of overwhelming feedback from female coaches who have expressed the desire to connect with other female coaches on a more regular basis.

Further details about the day will be announced in due course, but for now, put the date in your
diary and spread the word amongst female coaches!

Making Waves

Rowing Ireland, in partnership with Triathlon Ireland, are hosting a new club level leadership programme including training, mentoring and networking support in September and October 2022.

Club Leadership Program

Triathlon Ireland and Rowing Ireland recognise the need for a support network for the fantastic women who lead our clubs. This program aims to support women who work within their clubs to increase their confidence and knowledge and create a network of leaders within our clubs.We would like to invite applications from women’s officers, committee members and club leaders who are driven and passionate to develop themselves and their community.

This program is fully funded and will provide participants with:

  • Development of new skills set under the guidance of a very experienced facilitator;
  • Scope to improve your own personal skills as a club leader 
  • Support after the program, provided by experienced mentors
  • Opportunity to create a network of club leaders

Program Details

The purpose of the programme is to show how development and planning is pivotal in developing clubs. There will be a series of online and face-to-face workshops coupled with mentoring support.  The participants will be introduced to and use key leadership and management activities supporting existing club activity  and developing new opportunities for their clubs.

Key topics to be addressed include:

  • Club Governance and its role in assisting clubs in the development and implementation of club development plans.
  • Support clubs in designing and implementing club development plans.
  • Support clubs in recruitment and training of volunteers for various roles including committee members.
  • Identify examples of good practice in the areas of club leadership, management and development amongst clubs and share this information at all levels.
  • Develop mutually beneficial working relationships with other key organisations/agencies.


  1. 2 evening online sessions- 27th September and 4th October (8pm- 9:30pm)
  2. 1 full- day in-person session- 22nd October
  3. Mentoring commitment of 2-3 sessions between October and December

Facilitator- David Denieffe

David Denieffe is the Vice-President for Academic Affairs at South East Technological University in Carlow. He has been a leading academic for over 25 years, building on his previous military career. Having previously chaired national and international conferences, he also continues to serve on leading professional and industry groupings. With a passion for all sports, he has been involved in delivering club planning, development, leadership and management programmes with a number of NGBs for the past ten years. A Level 2 coach and a Level 5 official in the area of throws, he is also actively involved in athletics with his club, Gowran AC and county Kilkenny.

How to Apply

We are inviting one application per club. If you wish to apply to this programme, please complete our short application form outlining why you would like to be part of the programme by close of business on Wednesday 14th September. If you have any questions please contact Ceara at

Application form is below :

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