Why I Row Interview 17
by Michelle Conway/August 2020

Name:  Anne Grete Gormley
Occupation: Retired Physiotherapist

1. When did you begin rowing?

I began rowing about 8 years ago at one of the Tribesmen “Learn to Row” camps. As kids we spent all our summers in, on or beside the water and often rowed little punts but the Tribesmen learner quad was at a different level altogether. I loved it from the moment I set foot in the boat.

2. Why?

For the last 20 years of my working life I worked in the student health unit of NUIG. My rooms overlooked the river and every morning I observed the crews from the Galway rowing clubs come back from their early spin up the river. To me that was a very impressive sight and I felt strongly I would love to have a go at it myself and it has been a wonderful addition to my life.

3. Have you a favourite seat?

I love the 7 seat in an 8 and of course the little seat in a single scull is close to my heart but really I’m always delighted to get out in a boat in any seat really.

4. What was your top challenge?

I had a couple of health issues in the last couple of years and I did find it challenging to get back into the boat again.

As far as racing is concerned my top challenge was sitting in a single scull at the European Masters in 2018 getting ready to row my race. The sun was beating down, it was 30+ degrees, I was on the water long before I needed to be and I had left my water bottle on the slip. It was a huge learning experience!

5. What would you like to learn to improve?

Rowing seems to be endlessly challenging and there are thousands of things that need improvement. For me at the moment I would love to improve my catch, it could be a lot more effective. I would also love to have a bit of knowledge about the mechanics of the boat, the rigging etc. To me the whole thing is a bit of a mystery.

6. Favourite spin?

I absolutely love the early morning spins. The water is often flat calm, the river is quiet, the rising sun colours the sky in pink and orange and you know that the rest of the day will be a good one.

7. What do you love most about rowing?

I love the energetic nature of the sport. It gives me an incentive to stay fit and strong. The many technical aspects to it also makes it interesting-there are always things to improve. It gets us out in the fresh air and of course most of all the camaraderie in a crew is unique.