WHAT a week it has been for rowing in Coleraine.
Bann Rowing Club enhanced its glowing reputation with success at the National Schools Regatta, before club coach Seamus Reynolds was rowed across the River Bann in the club’s championship boat.
But the cheery on top of the icing came last Wednesday as three alumni of the famous club were named in the GB Rowing Squad for this summer’s Olympic Games in London.
Alan Campbell makes it a hat-trick of games appearances as he was selected to compete in the single sculls.
And it’s a real family affair in the Men’s Lightweight Fours as Peter Chambers joins his brother Richard in the boat in London.
Double world champion Richard Chambers, who turned 27 on Sunday, will be going to his second Olympics hoping to improve on a fifth place finish in Beijing.
Peter is five years younger and after bursting on the scene in 2011, winning world titles in the non-Olympic lightweight pair class at both under-23 and senior level, his undoubted talent has seen him force his way into the final quartet for London alongside his big brother with Chris Bartley from Chester and Maidenhead’s Rob Williams making up the crew.
Despite this being a home Olympics, Richard doesn’t believe there is any extra pressure.
“The pressure comes from what we expect of ourselves,” he said.
“We’ve trained for four years to win an Olympic gold medal and silver won’t do, we’re only focused on that gold medal. We don’t just want to win a medal, the four of us want to become Olympic champions and that’s where the pressure comes from.”
Campbell, 29, is hoping for better results than Athens and Beijing.
Eight years ago he was part of the quadruple sculls that qualified late in the day while last time around his campaign was blighted by illness and injury.
“This is what I’ve been training for and thankfully there have been no last minute surprises and I’m very excited about being selected to my third Olympics,” said Campbell.
“It’s been a long journey but the thing is I don’t just want to be known as a three-time Olympian, I want to be an Olympic medalist this time.”
Campbell has every reason to have belief and confidence and his view is shared by Team GB Rowing Team Performance director David Tanner who said the team at this summer’s games is “without doubt the strongest team we’ve taken to an Olympics.”
“We’ve got greater strength and depth than we have ever had, and excellent medal chances,” Tanner added.