Why I Row Interview 08
by Michelle Conway / Oct. 01, 2019

Name : Sarah Parnell
Occupation :  Radiographer UHG

1. When did you begin rowing?

I came to the learn to row camp in October 2014, took any spare seat I could get and headed into a long cold winter when we were off the water a lot.

2. Why?

It just fell into my lap, I work with other Tribes members and they suggested I give it a go, couldn’t run any more with knee problems so this seemed a good idea.

3. Do you have a favourite seat?

I am quite grateful for any seat in a racing crew. I just love to participate in a race. Given a choice, I like to be in the middle of the boat.. 6 in the 8 and either 3 or 2 in the quad. Not great at steering — you would probably do an extra couple of kilometres with me steering.

4.What was your top challenge?

So many challenges, trying to do it right being the main one! Getting into a boat last summer — that was helped by so many women dragging me up and down the river in a quad, thank you!!  The next one will be to get back into a boat for Banyoles World Masters in 2021.

5. What would you like to learn or improve?

I have to learn to land a boat on the slip at the first attempt – any tour boats I cox think you are supposed to be caught and swing around on the canal!

6. Favourite spin?

Any early morning spin, flat calm mornings in autumn with a bit of mist, magic in any boat but particularly a scull. Seeing the river at that time of day is a real privilege afforded to few people who live in Galway. Also personally, the first spin in the scull in Seville this year, getting to the dock gate and back –remaining dry and being able to do it again the next day!

7. What do you love most about rowing?

Whatever is preoccupying the mind, get in the boat and leave it behind on land, leave the phone and just concentrate on the rhythm and repetition of the stroke — you just can’t think of anything else. There is always something to learn, to try to improve, some drill to practise. I think Tribes Club is unique, the social as well the sport side of the club, many of the people I have met have become dear friends. We do need to get back to dancing on tables though we haven’t done that for a while, and we were getting quite good at it as I recall!!