Modelling the new kit
At Belfast Boat Club, the novice rowers from Queen's Men's and Ladies' Boat Clubs were formally presented their rowing kit. Last year's novice rowers were also retrospectively given kit.
There were several dozen rowers in attendance as well as a good representation of former rowers and supporters from Queen's Rowing.
David Storrs, Captain of Lady Victoria Boat Club, welcomed everyone to the event.
He told the rowers, "It is an honour for you to wear this kit as well as for us to see you wear it."
David added that their responsibility is to do their best in rowing and to enjoy it, and to always conduct themselves in a fine way.
He described rowing as the "ultimate team sport", where you push yourselves for your mates.
The captain concluded by reminding the rowers of the loads of support they have, from literally hundreds of former boat club rowers, and invited them to become part of that family, particularly by supporting the Queen's Rowing Academy.
Next, Head Coach, Mark Fangen-Hall, described how Queen's Rowing has been cited as the fastest improving club in all of world rowing.
He told the rowers that each of them "stands shoulder to shoulder with anyone else in this room", through their training and dedication, and that he values each and everyone in the room.
Mark concluded, "Welcome to Queen's."
The final speaker was David Gray, who said that rowing is a wonderful sport, because you can come into it at any age and catch up to a competitive level.
"Rowing is a tremendous sport with tremendous opportunities," he said.
He recollected on winning his first rowing trophy -- the Milne Barbour trophy for Fresher Tub Pairs (with Paddy Doherty as the cox) -- and how this led him to greater achievements. David said that at that time, Paddy Kemp remarked to him, "You could row for Ireland someday." David described how he had caught the rowing bug, stuck at it and indeed did row for Ireland.
The Queen's Olympian said that he was delighted to see so many rowers at this event, and that the future of Queen's Rowing is bright.
David finished by saying, "We are thrilled to see your success so far and keen to see it continue."
The rowers were then individually called up to collect their rowing kit.
Afterwards, several individuals came up to the organisers to compliment the presentation event, wishing to see it continue in future years.