Press Release: 22 August 2017
Organised by Meitheal Mara, Tuesday 22nd to Friday 25th of August will see dozens of young people from the Bádoireacht programme take part in the first ever Bádoireacht Rowing Camp.
Every year Meitheal Mara trains young people from all over Cork City in currach rowing ahead of the Ocean to City race. Many of these young people complete the race with a passion for the rowing and a desire to keep up the sport. This year Meitheal Mara, in partnership with Naomhóga Chorcaí – Cork’s Currach Club, will host a youth rowing development camp. This camp will give the young rowers the opportunity and the space to progress from the smaller Dunfanaghy currachs that the Bádóireacht youth programme uses, to the larger naomhóg currachs used in the club.
Becoming members of Ireland’s largest currach club will then open the door to the possibility of a life-long association with currach rowing for the participating young people. It also creates opportunities for the young people to row in new stretches of water and to take part in new activities such as currach regattas and rowing excursions.
In addition to participants from youth organisations such as Cork Life Centre, St. Joseph’s Foroige youth programme and Mayfield Neighbourhood Youth Project, the camp will also be attended by young people living in direct provision in Cork. Through a six-week training programme funded by the Department of Justice earlier this summer, sixteen young people from all over the world were introduced to Ireland’s traditional Irish currachs. During the Communities Integration project, the young people learned to row and to steer a Dunfanaghy currach while mixing with young people of a similar age and with similar interests. Several of these young rowers have shown a real flair for currach rowing and will now continue to develop their skills by participating in this week’s camp.
Clare Hayden, Youth Manager; ‘’A core ethos of Meitheal Mara is to enable access to the water for all. This year’s rowing camp is yet another way that we are striving towards that goal. The young people will not only learn new rowing skills but also about facing challenges, solving problems and working together as a team. This activity can be transformative for young people and it is amazing to watch the change – from nervously stepping into a boat for the first time to confidently mastering a race course – you can practically see the change before your eyes.’’
The rowing camp will culminate in a regatta on Friday 25th of August. Families and supporters will get together to cheer on the young crews, and many parents will be seeing their children row for the first time. With continued rowing practise in the coming months, it is envisaged that the parents will be cheering on their offspring in the long-distance 2018 Ocean to City Race.
The Bádoireacht programme and rowing camp are organised by Meitheal Mara, the community boatyard, training centre and charity located in the heart of Cork City. Bádoireacht is a unique boat building and rowing service for young people (ages 14 – 18). It has been running successfully since 2002 with an average of 130 individuals participating each year. Young people have an opportunity to learn to row currachs, sail and to build their own boats and woodcraft. For more information please see www.meithealmara.ie.
Gratefully funded by the Department of Justice and Equality
Photos from this year’s Rowing Camp