Rowing Ireland loses major sponsor
eFlow ends Grand League backing
Rowing Ireland’s premier domestic competition, the Grand League regatta series, has lost its financial backer. The leagues were sponsored by eFlow for the past two years, but the company will not be renewing the sponsorship. It is understood eFlow’s annual contribution was €10,000 a year.
The stated reason for eFlow’s dropping of the sponsorship of the four-regatta league was budgetary constraints. Rowing Ireland have tried to get detailed feedback from the company but have not yet been successful.
The chief executive of Rowing Ireland, Hamish Adams, said yesterday that there was there was “a lot of background work going on” to find a new backer.
“But no one has signed on the dotted line at this stage.”
The recent meeting of the board of Rowing Ireland was a busy one. A male athlete from Northern Ireland who wished to compete for Britain was turned down. Under a new Fisa rule, rowers who competed at a major championships cannot switch countries for two years, except in exceptional circumstances, and the board found none in this case.
This particular athlete did not represent Ireland in major competition at junior level, but some of the top Ireland juniors of recent years have moved swiftly into the British system, because of greatly disappointing figures at the top of the sport here.
However, the implementation of the Fisa rule in the Irish context could be interesting. The Belfast Agreement expressly recognises the right of Northern Irish people to identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both.
The present crop of promising juniors will need to be ready to compete this month if they are to win an invitation to the Ireland Assessment in Newry in February.
The Irish Indoor Rowing Championships in Limerick tomorrow week (November 23rd) and the ergometer tests in Belfast the following Saturday are a key part of the new structures to form Ireland teams for the coming season.
The Limerick event has drawn a huge entry, with over 700 set to compete.
The on-the-water action this weekend is in Co Derry. Two Queen’s University intermediate eights are set to be the first boats off at the Bann head of the River tomorrow. The two heads (10.30 and 2pm) have drawn crews almost entirely from clubs and schools in Ulster.