Captains’ Address 2015-16

Jason Armstrong: Men’s Club Captain

Hello, I’m Jason Armstrong, Captain of QUBBC for the 2015-16 rowing season. I would like to introduce myself, and give you all an insight into our plans for the season ahead.

I grew up around rowing as a child, both my parents rowed for Queen’s and I often found myself at Queen’s boathouse waiting for my father to finish his training. When I wasn’t squeezing pennies in the vice, or pushing rocks into the river and getting scolded by Tom, I was taking in the atmosphere and wondering when I could row at Queen’s. Fast-forward 10 years and there I was, down for my first session at the boathouse wondering why everything had shrunk. Now in my final year at Queen’s University I have the privilege of being a 2nd generation captain and 3rd generation rower of QUBBC.

Last season had a very promising start for our intermediate squad with massive potential being shown from our three 8+ strong squad. Unfortunately, due to various circumstances we had a high drop off rate around Christmas. This left us with a squad composed of mainly novices brought up from the year before and a few intermediate and senior rowers. Nevertheless, in typical Queen’s fashion, we stormed into very successful head and regatta seasons with wins at Bann, Erne, Cork, Queen’s and Irish Champs. The novice men showed us how it should be done by winning at every event they entered with exceptions being Queen’s Regatta where they raced Club level boats rather than novice level.

We are fortunate to be entering this season with a 30 man strong squad. We aim to use the winner’s atmosphere created last season to take a step forward and attack the intermediate and senior categories. With a structured training program set out by our head coach and the dedication from our eager athletes I feel this step forward is well within our grasp. With some of our athletes pursuing an international rowing career we plan to continue to support them and welcome the professional atmosphere it brings to the club.

With the strength of our squad this year we will be focusing on 8’s racing. Early plans for our calendar include events we would normally attend such as Bann, Lagan and Erne. We also have plans to attend London HoRR in March. We aim to hold approximately 3 training camps at strategic points of the year to further accelerate progress.

Overall, I am very excited for Queen’s this year. The skill and tenacity of the squad will allow us to work off one another to achieve our full potential. The mind-set among the athletes this year should see many of them return next season to allow us to take another important step forward as a club. If anyone has any questions about anything to do with the club, please feel free to get in contact with me using the email listed on this website. I look forward to seeing many of you at the annual dinner, details of which shall be available soon. Until then, I would personally like to thank you for all of the support you provide for the club, and hope to see you throughout the year.

Ellie Holmes – Ladies Club Captain

Hi I’m Ellie, I’m in my final year of a joint degree in Criminology and Sociology and this will be my third year with the Queen’s Ladies Boat Club. Having previously rowed with Broxbourne Rowing Club as a junior, I was keen to carry on rowing when joining the university. Immediately I was welcomed into the club, enjoying training, working and socialising with rowers both in and out of the boathouse. Being actively involved with the club has taught me so much and its members have become my family away from home.

I’m hoping to build on the solid of performances of last year, particularly in head season, from both the novices and intermediate squad. Queen’s Ladies had athletes’ trial for GB rowing and Rowing Ireland, the novice’s 8+ win at Irish University Champs and the qualification for a number of A finals at British University Championships and Irish National Championships. None of this would have been possible without the dedication of the club’s volunteer coaches, alumni members and supporters. Although we have not always achieved our desired results we have learnt a lot and are motivated to work even harder. I can promise you every member is out to prove that Queen’s Ladies are a force to be reckoned with at both local and national events. We have a steely determination to improve on the performances of last year despite the weather conditions, time commitment, and huge effort that we face. However, this year we have the pleasure of returning to our newly refurbished boathouse with state-of-the-art facilities.

As always I would like to thank everyone who continually helps and supports our club. This year promises to be very exciting and I would encourage anyone wanting to try rowing to join us and give it a go!

Check here regularly for news updates, race results, photos and feedback from our two clubs captains Ellie Holmes and Jason Armstrong.
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