Masters / Veterans Squads

The Masters squads consist of enthusiastic oarsmen and oarswomen who train all year round and compete at both Head of the River (HOR) and Regattas throughout Ireland, the UK and beyond. This section of the club boasts experienced rowers ranging from 27 years to well over 60. They have competed and brought back medals from World Masters Championships which have taken them to far away waters such as Vilnius, Vichy, Prague, Zagreb, Vienna and Poznan.
This year the men and women's crews are planning to compete at Vesta Veterans' Head of the River in London and Veteran Nationals in Nottingham.
We are always looking to expand our squad so if you have been busy climbing the career ladder, raising a family or if you hung up your one-piece years ago thinking your rowing career was over then joining the Belfast Boat Club might be just what you need.

Rowing Masters Squads

Novice & Junior Squads

Novice Rowing squadsOur novice and junior squads consist of men and women of all ages, ranging from post primary pupils, to middle age and beyond. Do not be put off by the stereotypical notion that all rowers are 6 foot tall - people of all heights have a role to play in this section of the club.

Novice Rowing squadsThe main focus of the novice and junior squad is to learn to row and race but this does not take away from the social side of things - rowing is a great way to meet new people, get fit and make lifelong friends. As a novice you will learn how to row and scull (use one or two oars) in a variety of boats from eights right down to singles as time goes on.

Coaching is made available from a number of experienced rowers and sessions are supervised to ensure and maintain safety at all times.


Novice Rowing squads

High Performance Squads

High Performance squad trainingBelfast Boat Club plays host to Rowing Ireland's High Performance Development programme. The squad is coached by John Armstrong and consists of young athletes that have been selected from schools across the Belfast area, as well as U23 and Senior athletes who have demonstrated the levels of performance, on the water or on the rowing ergometer, required for international competition. The NI Development Programme is part of Rowing Irelands High Performance Programme, which is responsible for the selection, training and preparation of Ireland's teams for international competitions including World Championships, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Development Squad consists of both those based full time at Belfast Boat Club as well as others based in their own clubs who will come and train with John's group on occasions.

High performance squads

Selection is based on power and endurance tests and athletes are expected to train regularly throughout the week - the squad can be seen sweating profusely in the gym and on the water. The group all aim to compete at the highest level possible. Selection for any national team involves competing and performing at a series selection events throughout the year and hopefully competition in an Irish vest at Junior, Under 23 or Senior World Championships. The athletes in the Development Squad range from complete novices, to those who have already competed at prestigious events such as Henley and at World Championship level. The Programme aims to prepare those rowers with the most potential, for podium competitive performances, at all age groups, in International events, from Junior European, to Senior Olympic Games, by progressing athletes along a clear development pathway, from inclusion in the squad to international success.



Those rowing at club level have a diverse set of goals. These range from those who wish to take part in social rowing to those who wish to row more competitively at National and International level. Training is therefore tailored to suit the needs/ambitions of each individual and crew. The more ambitious you are, the harder you have to train.

Training schedule
‘On the water’
Land training

Masters/Veteran Crews
Aged 27 and above

The Veterans train (or try to train) 4 times per week:
- Tuesday and Thursday evenings
- Saturday and Sunday mornings

All squads take part in land/gym training in addition to the water sessions.

Novice and Junior crews
All ages

Sunday morning (some crews try to fit in an additional water session during the week)

High Performance Development Squad

7 ‘On the water’ sessions take place at the weekend

3 land training sessions per week


Rowing training - ergo


It is important that you wear the right type of kit when rowing. Most people wear lycra training bottoms or jogging bottoms as it allows you to move freely in the boat don't wear anything too baggy or too restrictive!!! On top it is probably best to wear a few thin warm layers as it can get quite chilly out on the river.

Those who are competing must wear club kit. This usually consists of a one-piece, leggings, base layer top and splash jacket. Additional pieces of kit may also be worn eg. club gilet. Club kit is ordered up at regular intervals throughout the year.



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