For the first day of Women in Sport Week, Rowing Ireland are reflecting on the last year, and women’s involvement across our sport. Today we publish the numbers across participation, leadership and coaching, as available at the end of 2021.

This year brought a number of key milestones for Women in Rowing. We achieved our first Olympic Medal for women’s rowing and sent the largest women’s team to an Olympic Games. We had the first female coached crew to win a medal at a World Championship event with Leah O’Regan and the JW2x. We had the first elected female President of Rowing Ireland, Susan Dunlea. We are now one of the only NGBs with both a female CEO and President.

In July 2020, Rowing Ireland published their first Women in Sport Strategy. This outlined how we were performing in Women in Sport under each of the Sport Ireland WiS Policy pillars – Participation, Coaching and Officiating, Leadership and Visibility. At the time of the strategy publication, we were unable to capture active coaching numbers or data on club leadership. Now through the Club Affiliation process, we are getting a greater insight into the gender breakdown of coaching and leadership and will be able to track changes over time. 

Whilst Covid-19 led to the adaptation of some plans outlined in the strategy, a number of initiatives were successfully rolled out and will continue into 2022. The aim will be to have more in-person events to make up for lost time through the Covid pandemic. 

The following document is an updated snapshot of where we are now based on reported numbers at the end of 2021. Women in Coaching will remain the focus of the Rowing Ireland WIS Programme, as this is where we see the greatest gender disparity.

Progress has been made, but there is still work to do to achieve our goal of gender balance in all aspects of our sport.