In the run-up to the last Olympics a small group travelled to camps in Switzerland and other foreign venues to guarantee good weather: this weekend 20 elite athletes who are on a 10-day camp at Inniscarra Lake will be joined by 46 others – including a big group of juniors.
During the week athletes will get the opportunity to meet Olympic Council of Ireland’s Stephen Martin and Martin Burke and be updated on plans for London 2012, part of the OCI’s athlete engagement programme with athletes and team staff. Performance Director Martin McElroy and Head Coach Adrian Cassidy are already involved and contributing to this programme.
The National Rowing Centre now has a purpose-built gymnasium and a big collection of ergometers (rowing machines). Catering will be provided via a chef at the centre, employed for the 10 days and athletes will be given three meals a day.
Martin McElroy, says Irish Rowing are spending “considerably less” than what was spent under previous regimes. “What’s going on here at the moment in the past would have been run somewhere else and would have been 10 times the cost. Ten times the cost for probably a third of the people.”
Most of the top athletes from the Beijing Olympiad have dropped away with a group of under-23 athletes providing the main bulk of the training squad..
The 2010 season brought no medals at the senior World Championships but the Irish lightweight quadruple scull of Michael Maher, Justin Ryan, Niall Kenny and Mark O’Donovan took silver at the World Under-23 Championships. Other major highlights of the year included: the emergence of Claire Lambe (20) and Siobhán McCrohan (23) at international level.