Learn to Row and Participate in One of the World’s Most Popular Sports


Please note we are currently not accepting new Junior Members until further notice. For more information or to put your name on our waiting list, contact info@shannonrowingclub.com

Origins of Modern Rowing

Modern rowing as a competitive sport can be traced back over a thousand years to when ferry workers on the river Thames held races against each other. Prizes were offered and these regattas became very popular. The Shannon also was often the setting for such contests, with the Old Abbey and Plassey Regattas being organized on the river from the mid 18th century by the Abbey fishermen and other guilds.

Amateur rowing as we know it today, began towards the end of the 18th century when boat clubs were set up at British public schools such as Eton, Westminster and Shrewsbury. Oxford held a race between two of its colleges in 1815 and the first recorded races at Cambridge University were in 1827. The first American college club was founded in 1843 at Yale, and by 1892 rowing had gained such popularity that the International Rowing Federation was founded to regulate the sport.

Irish Amateur Rowing is said to have started with the founding of Carrick-on-Shannon Rowing club in 1836, followed quickly by Athlone Boat Club in 1837. Lee Rowing Club and Commercial Rowing Club were the first clubs set up in Cork and Dublin in 1850 and 1856 respectively, with members drawn from the commercial heart of their cities including employees of shops like Clery’s, tailors, and bankers. In1866, Shannon Rowing Club led the way in bringing this sport to Limerick, followed closely by Limerick Boat Club a mere 4 years later.

Shannon Rowing Club supports the continuing development of this world-class sport by providing training for those interested in learning, whether for our Junior competitive rowers or adults interested in Recreational Rowing. We have a team of experienced and dedicated coaches who teach our members of all ages everything they need to know to enjoy the sport of rowing whether competitively or recreationally.

Our prowess has resulted in members of Shannon Rowing Club participating in some of the world’s most renowned races: from Cardiff Bay in Wales to World Championships in France, the United States, and more.

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For more information on the world’s oldest rowing race see below