Why I Row

Eamonn Colclough. Retired Army Officer.

1. When did you begin rowing?

Commercial Rowing Club, Dublin, 1968.

2. Why?

I grew up in Inchicore, Dublin and I lived near the Liffey. A local priest noticed I was hanging out with a ‘bad lot’ and encouraged me to take up a sport. One of the sports he recommended was rowing. I joined Commercial and was immediately hooked on rowing and its sheer joy of being on the water, but also the discipline, training regime, competitions around the country and the camaraderie of likeminded persons.

3. Do you have a favourite seat?

The 3 seat in a four and the 5 seat in an eight, I love the concept of being a crew member, integrated and striving to achieve a common goal.

4. What was your top challenge?

The Senior 8 final in 1976. We were unbeaten all year, we were ahead in the race but we lost to Trinity. To this day it rankles me. The Trinity crew went on to win in Henley the following year, the last Trinity crew to do so, that is some consolation. Sean Carolan and Jim Silke were also in that crew with me. It was the best crew I rowed in but unfortunately, the crew broke up that year and we went our separate ways.

5. What is one thing you would like to learn/improve? Top goal.

I have the great honour and privilege to be the President of Rowing Ireland. I have lots of goals for Rowing Ireland:

  • For Rowing Ireland to win not one, but several medals in the Tokyo Olympic Games. The qualifying regatta will be held in Linz, Austria in August this year, Fingers crossed. (Rowing Ireland are putting together a package deal for anyone interested in going.)
  • To grow the sport of rowing in Ireland and introduce more people to the sport in its several forms including: Championship grades, Junior, Masters, Recreational, Touring, Coastal and Offshore.

6. Favourite Spin?

Going up the Corrib in a pair with Jim Silke on a warm summer evening when the water is flat calm. Jim and I have rowed together for over half a century and occasionally we hit what the golfers’ call the ‘sweet spot’ and we get the boat moving, just right.

7. What do you love most about rowing?

The camaraderie, the level of fitness you can achieve, the discipline it thought me which served me well in my career and my life but mostly, the sheer joy of being out on the water.