Why I Love . . . Rowing

Eimear McCormack was first attracted to the sport by watching beautiful skiffs on the Liffey – now she wants to win medals

I fell into coastal rowing by accident five years ago. I used to pass over the East-Link Bridge and see beautiful wooden skiffs belonging to St Patrick’s Rowing Club going up and down the River Liffey and always thought I would love to give it a go. Eventually I did, and ever since then, I have been hooked. Subsequently, I am now PRO for St Patrick’s.

Recently, my love affair with rowing has developed even more and I have taken up Olympic-style rowing. I’m part of a novice programme at Neptune Rowing Club in Islandbridge. We train six days a week on and off the water. On Mondays, training consists of a 20-minute warm-up on the erg (rowing machine), followed by a heavy weights session. On Tuesdays, it’s a 10km run, Wednesdays and Thursdays a 20-minute warm-up on the erg followed by a light weights circuit. Friday is our day off. Then between Saturday and Sunday, we spend four hours on the water.

I do this because I love it – rowing pushes you to your limits in terms of fitness, technique and your ability to work as a crew member. My aim is to become an Irish national medal holder next July.

The hardest part of the training is remaining disciplined in terms of diet and rowing on a wet and windy day (no one likes that). I am super competitive so I love that aspect. I love to push myself. I’m obsessed. When I’m not training, I’m reading books on rowing to better myself.


We’re currently in the off-season so this is where the work is put in for the season ahead. Races start in spring 2019. Rowing is an ageless sport and I hope to have a good 15 years left in me yet!