The assessment process was affected by the December weather and while the ergometer (rowing machine) tests were staged as part of the National Indoor Championships, not all the entrants could attend.
This weekends assessment before the national trials in April is the first for many competitors.
Martin McElroy, Rowing’s High Performance Director said,
“Quite a lot does ride on this for athletes, particularly those on the margins.This is what determines who is going to go to the assessment in April.”
Tomorrow will feature ergometer tests and on Sunday athletes will race in time-trial format on Newry Canal.
The entry reflects the profile of competitive rowing in Ireland in recent years, with about 130 juniors at under-23 level.
One of the key questions is can rowers who had good results last year at U23 – including a silver medal at the World Under-23 Championships – be translated into competitive performances at the World Championships in Bled in late August/early September, as Bled is also the main qualifying regatta for London 2012.
McElroy urges caution. “The priority has to be to create a culture where people expect to win, not be beaten. So the steps that we take have to be the right steps for those athletes. There is no point throwing those athletes in way out of their depths,” he says.
“It might be tempting, at least from the outside, to think they should have a go – and if it is realistic, of course we will. But you also have to think, these are young guys, for the longer term. And they know that as well. They have no illusions about that. They know you have to work your way up.”
Source Irish Times