Rowing is a relatively new sport to SGS but has taken off well.  Students train hard both on the school’s rowing machines and on the river thanks to the generosity of Sligo Rowing Club who allows the school use their boats.

The members of the club train on the rowing machines in the school and in Autumn and Spring/Summer get the opportunity to row on the Garavogue River. 

2022 – 2023



Sligo Grammar School hosted the Sligo Schools Indoor Rowing Competition this year, the first ‘in person’ competition since Covid. Ten secondary schools from around county Sligo attended, making it a huge event, with 180 students taking part, split evenly between girls and boys. SGS Rowing Club submitted their largest entry ever, with 30 students entered in the individual races plus seven crews for the team events. The individual event consisted of each rower racing for 5 minutes on the rowing machine to see what distance they could achieve, whereas the team event was a single distance of 2000 meters with team members jumping on and off to cover the distance in as short a time as possible.    In the junior men’s race an outstanding performance by Adam Foley  (2nd year) earned him the win with a distance of 1,398 meters for his 5 minute piece. This was a new personal best for Adam and puts him in the same ball park as the intermediate men’s races. Adam then went on to join his team mates Sree-Hari Nair, Callum Scott, Trevor Horan and James Park to win the junior boys team event. An exceptional result from this young crew.   In the intermediate men’s race the overall winner was Jack Kennedy (TY) who scored 1,492 meters for his 5 minute time trial. Another personal best for Jack and an outstanding result, considering he just took up the sport in recent months. Jack was also involved in a team event along with Finn Reid, Pauls Zarums, Liam McNamee-Mas and Ronan Mullan and they went on to win the senior boys event with the fastest time on the day of 6 minutes 7 seconds.   On the ladies side an exceptional performance from Tiara Smet-Guerra (TY) earned her a fourth place finish out of a field of 28 rowers in her category. Tiara completed a distance of 1,237 for her 5 minutes of rowing. In the afternoon session Tiara teamed up with Zoe McNamee-Mas, Emily McGuinty, Freya O’Connor and Carys Griffiths to race the intermediate women’s event finishing mid table in a time of 8 minutes 2 seconds.

Individual scores (meters):

Jack Kennedy 1492

Finn Reid 1405

Adam Foley 1396

Conn Reid 1316

Pauls Zarums 1309

Jamie Plesker-Sheeran 1287

Trevor Horan 1274

Andrew Ryan 1274

Fiachra Dowd 1259

Sree Hari Nair 1235

Callum Scott 1229

Oscar O’Connor 1200

James Park 1188

Harry Dennison 1175

Daithi Meehan 1158

Arran O’Donoghue Symmons 1156

Phil Mulrooney 1125

Faelan McCaffrey 1125

Elliot Church 1102

Cian Brooks 1090


SGS Rowing Club at the Irish Indoor Rowing Championships

The Irish Indoor Rowing Championships took place on Saturday 4th February at UL. Sligo Grammar School had a total of nine students from the rowing club entered in individual events and two team events. The squad left Sligo in the early hours to be at UL for the first race, the Men’s Junior 15 time trial with 57 rowers from all over the country taking part. Conn Reid, Adam Foley, Fiachra Dowd, Ronan Mullan and Phil Mulrooney represented SGS, with Adam Foley the first home for SGS with a distance of 1379 meters. This was a new ‘personal best’ for Adam earning him a finish in the top ten, followed closely by his crew mates Ronan Mullan and Conn Reid who achieved great results that earned SGS three places in the top 15. Tiara Smet-Guerra competed in the Women’s Junior 16 1000m trial. Tiara set off at a blistering pace and was sitting in third position by the half way mark. At the finish, she completed the distance in a time of 3 minutes 49 seconds, just 5 seconds behind the winner and an overall position of 4th. Jack Kennedy and Jaime Plesker-Sheerin competed for the first time and although neither were medal winners they completed their events in excellent times, great achievements for competitors so new to the sport. Finn Reid was entered in the Junior 16 2000m event and was on track to get an excellent time but unfortunately had to pull up at the half way mark with an injury.

The school also raced as a team in the Mixed Junior 16 event and the Men’s Junior 18 event. This was the first time we competed in the team events and while there were no medals it was a great experience for the rowers and they will be well prepared for the next outing – the Sligo Schools Indoor Rowing competition which is being hosted by the Sligo Grammar School on 15th March.

SGS Rowing Club would like to thank coach Ronan Ivers and acknowledge the support of the school principal, Mr. Hall and also the parents who helped with the logistics on the day.



2021 – 2022


The SGS Rowing Club is up and running for 2021 – 2022. Coach Ronan Ivers has a large group of first year students interested in the sport. The year began with sessions on the rowing machines and soon the students will get their chance on the river! 


The 2021 Sligo Schools Indoor Rowing Competition took place last week in a ‘virtual’ format with several secondary schools taking part. Sligo Grammar School had 50 students entered. The race took place in the school gym hall with groups of 8 students using the rowing machines at a time. The race was a 5 minute time trial with the objective to row as far as possible in that time. Fifth year student Meabh Gillmor pulled an outstanding distance of 1294 meters which earned her top prize in the ladies category. Finishing in second place was fellow SGS student Rachel McManus with a distance of 1162m. While Meabh took up racing through the school rowing club Rachel has gained her experience through the Leaving Cert PE class in rowing run by Elayne McDermott. In the junior women’s category there was also some excellent results for SGS. This event had the largest entry in the ladies competition with 116 students taking part and two of our rowers finished in the top ten. Second year student Ruth Beirne fought a very hard race to finish third with a distance of 1180m, just shy of the overall winning distance of 1194m and a fraction behind second place 1181m. In the same race Zoé McNamee finished 5th with a distance of 1136m. Another notable result in this race was Orlaith O’Callaghan finishing 11th with a score of 1061m. Both Zoé and Orlaith are in first year and just took up rowing when they did trials with the rowing club in September. In the men’s events there was a win for Matthew Ryan in the senior race with a distance of 1382m and a third place finish for Paddy Wright with a distance of 1356m. At junior 16 level, with 80 students taking part there was a top ten finish for Finn Reid with a score of 1299m placing him 9th overall. The junior men’s race was the largest event of the competition with an entry of 144 boys racing. SGS had two students finishing in the top 10. Ronan Mullan finished 8th overall with a distance of 1239m and Conn Reid finished 10th with a score of 1236m. Many thanks to Ronan Ivers who comes in to train the students every Friday and at weekends on the Garavogue River. It is very much appreciated.


2020 – 2021

Despite being on summer holidays, members of SGS Rowing Club continue to train under the watchful eye of our coach, Ronan Ivers. Ruth Beirne, Finn Reid, Conn Reid and Fiachra Dowd are just four of our rowers who venture out on the Garavogue at weekends to train with the Sligo Rowing Club. The SGS Rowing Club is open to all students, no matter what class you are in. Getting out on the river, even in the dead of winter, is a great way to take a moment to enjoy nature and a bit of peacefulness! Not to mention a great work-out! As ever, we are very grateful to Sligo Rowing Club for allowing us to use their boats. Keep an eye on the Extra-Curricular timetable at the end of August to see when the SGS Rowing Club will be meeting for 2021 – 2022.



The school Rowing Club is up and running for 2020. Last week the students trained on the rowing machines in the school, where their coach, Ronan Ivers, concentrated on rowing technique. This week the students got the opportunity to put their new-found skills to the test on the Garavogue River. With the help of two of the teaching staff and Ray Murtagh of Sligo Rowing Club, Coach Ivers organised an afternoon’s rowing in boats owned by SRC. The afternoon was warm and the river calm and the club rowed from Doorly Park to Ardaghowen, within sight of SGS, then back towards Lough Gill. The session ended with a race between the two crews from Hazelwood House back to Doorly Park. The students, particularly the new members, many of them 1st years, enjoyed their time on the river where they also met their fellow SGS students who were out in the kayaks! The SGS Rowing Club meets in the school “Old Gym” on Friday afternoons and rowing on the river will be organised throughout the year, thanks to the generosity of Sligo Rowing Club. Anyone interested in joining, just come along to the Old Gym after school on Fridays.


2019 – 2020



In the early hours of Saturday morning, 25th Jan 2020, SGS Rowing Club hit the road for the University of Limerick to complete at the National Indoors Rowing Competition. A crew of four boys raced in several individual events and one team event on the rowing machines. The first year students were Harry Graham, Finn Reid and Ben & Alan Lawlor. The 6am start was no problem for this crew and we arrived in UL at 9am, with enough time to take a tour of the Arena and the elite gym before starting our warm up for the first event. The time trail for Junior 14 boys was set at 4 minutes and each individual had to row as far as they could in that time. Finn came out best at 920 metres while Harry was close to him at 909m, Alan finished at 874m while Ben scored 848m. With the first race complete there was some time to debrief and take a tour of the University of Limerick Boathouse. The students got to try out the indoor rowing tank, view the launch pontoon on the River Shannon, and check out the boats and rowing equipment in the boat bays. With the tour complete we returned to the Arena for lunch and to watch some of the other competitors racing. Olympic medallist and World Champion Paul O’Donovan was racing the 2,000 metre event, as were other World Champions Fintan McCarthy, Shane O’Driscoll & Sanita Puspure. The afternoon racing consisted of a sprint race covering a distance of 500m. In a reverse of the morning results Harry managed to come home ahead of Finn in a time of 1 min 59 seconds while Finn completed it in 2:04. The brothers Alan and Ben finished in times of 2:14 and 2.26 respectively. With the sprints out of the way it was time for the team event, over a distance of 2,000 meters. The SGS crew were in a group of 14 teams including schools from Galway (The Bish and Colaiste Iognaid) as well as Enniskillen and local clubs St. Michaels and Castleconnell. The crew fought well and finished in a time of 8 minutes and 20 seconds placing them 10th overall. It was a great day for the lads who are new to the sport and they are looking forward to building on their experience over the coming months. Many thanks to the individuals who helped out on the day including coaches from Sligo Rowing Club and members of UL Rowing Club. Coach, Ronan Ivers,  would also like to acknowledge the support from the principal and staff at Sligo Grammar School in preparation for this event.


On Wednesday 16th October a team of rowers from Sligo Grammar School competed in the Inaugural Sligo Indoor Rowing Blitz which took place in the Sligo Tennis Club. This new competition, organised by the Sligo Sports and Recreation Partnership, was the perfect way for the new members of SGS Rowing Club to cut their rowing teeth! The main competition came from Summerhill College and in the initial competition our rowers came third behind two Summerhill College crews. However in the second competition we pulled ahead of one of their crews, finishing second. Not a bad days work for our new rowers!


In the early hours of Saturday morning, Jan 19th, SGS Rowing Club made the journey to the University of Limerick for the 2019 Irish Indoor Rowing Championships. The school entered 4 students in the individual events and also entered the crew of Cameron Kilcoyne, Philip Ofodile, Matthew Ryan and Gareth McGinty for the team event.
The results on the day were very encouraging with everyone finishing mid table or better. Philip Ofodile did particularly well in the 500m race where he finished 22nd out of an entry of 90 boys. The highlight of the day was the 2,000m team event where SGS battled throughout to finish 4th in their heat and 7th overall out of an entry of 18 schools.
The Club is extremely grateful to Fintan Ryan and all the parents who helped with the preparation and logistics on the day, and thanks to Ronan Ivers who comes in to train the team every week. The club is open to all students and anyone who is interested in giving rowing a go is welcome to come along to the Old Gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school.

Rowing has been going well this year with students training hard both on the school’s rowing machines and on the river thanks to the generosity of Sligo Rowing Club who allows the school use their boats. 

2017/ 18

Well done to David Barlow, Joshua Hanna, Ammar Zaman and Matthew Ryan, who represented Sligo Grammar School at the Irish Schools Regatta in Limerick on Sunday 29th April. The team performed very well, finishing third. It was a close fought race but in the end the win went to Blackrock College, Dublin and second place went to An Phiarsaigh, Cork. SGS finished a length behind, claiming third prize. What a fantastic achievement for our School! Well rowed, boys!!

On Saturday the 25th November 2017, one of the coldest days of the year, SGS Rowing Club hit the road for Limerick to compete in their first ever competition. Fortunately this was an indoor event! The University of Limerick Arena was the location for the Irish Provinces Indoor Rowing Championships. The annual event consists of individuals and teams racing a set time or distance on the rowing machine in a variety of categories and age groups. The event is in its fourth year, and with over 1,000 rowers entered, it certainly has grown from strength to strength. SGSRC entered three boys at Junior 13 (J13) and two boys at Junior 14 (J14) level. The five boys then came together to race in a team event. The first race of the day was the J13 500-meter sprint race with 42 rowers entered. SGS had three representatives, Matthew Ryan, Ambrose Bamber and Kyul Chan. All three joined the rowing club in September and this was their first race. Pre-race nerves were widespread and evidenced by a false start, meaning that the organisers had to reset the starters orders! But thankfully, on the second attempt the race got off to a clean start. Matthew put in a strong performance with a finishing time of 1 min 55 secs, which placed him at the top end of the table – 13th out of 42 rowers. We also had a very credible performance from Ambrose Bamber, who finished in the top half of the table with a time of 2 mins. Ambrose was racing in a grade above his age so will be able to race the same category again next year, which suggests he could do extremely well at that stage. Kyul Chan finished close to the mid table also, in a time of 2 min 7 secs. This was an excellent performance as he set a new personal best (PB) time in the competition. Next up were David Barlow and Joshua Hanna in the J14 500-meter sprint. There were 36 rowers racing this event and Joshua put in a good race to finish mid table in a time of 1 min 48 secs. However, the outstanding performance of the day was David Barlow’s time of 1 min 33.8 secs to cover the 500 meters. This was an incredible effort and a new PB for David, and earned him the Silver medal for the event. The winning time was by Ciaran O’Connell of Waterville Rowing Club who finished in a time of 1 minute 33.2 secs – only a half a second faster! While David came away delighted with his performance, he will, no doubt, be hungry for revenge the next time these two rowers meet again. In the final event of the day, the SGS boys were entered as a team. However, as the category was well above their age group, it was established before the race that they were unlikely to be strong medal contenders. In saying that, they raced very well as a team and, as hoped, gained valuable experience for future events. The club is very grateful to Mr. Chan who helped with transport to the event and for his support throughout the day.  

Next race for the rowing club is the Head of the Shannon regatta taking place in Carrick-on-Shannon on Saturday the 2nd December. Racing takes place at 11am and 2pm. Spectators are invited to watch the action from the jetty opposite the Landmark Hotel.  


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