THE senior oarsmen at Coleraine Inst got a glimpse of what it takes to be an Olympic medalist last week as ‘old boy’ Richard Chambers held a special a rowing masterclass at the school.
The boys assembled at 7.00am to be briefed by Richard before taking to the water for a long technical paddle under his watchful eye. After a hearty breakfast in the school’s new boathouse it was back on the water at 11.00am for a shorter more intense session at race pace.
After lunch Richard gave a very informative talk on drugs and supplements in sport, before everyone made the short journey to Crossfit Causeway. Here Richard’s wife Abi, a physiotherapist, delivered a presentation on sports injuries, stressing the importance of prevention being better than cure.
It was back to work again then with a weights session followed by some core stability exercises with the day ending at 4.00pm. The boys were extremely grateful to Richard and Abi for taking time out of their busy schedules to provide them with what truly was a day to remember.
The Olympian - one of three from Coleraine - said it was great to be passing on some of his skills to the younger rowers.
“These boys - they’ve got a passion for it, they want to train,” he said.
“These guys have turned up at seven o’clock this morning because they want to be here, they want to train and they love their sport.
“I can remember being one of the schoolboys and seeing the likes of Richard Archibald and a lot of the other guys who had their Ireland vests on and that really inspired me.
“I think it’s really important for me to come and give something back to the school.”
To the boys delight Richard had his silver medal with him, but he didn’t chance taking it out onto the Bann.
“It’s in the car,” he said. “We’ll not take it out on the river; it might get to the bottom of the River Bann.”