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Trinity men's rowing continues to build strong foundation

Published: July 20th 2018

It’s just a year now since DUBC, Trinity men’s rowing, welcomed their new head coach, Richard Ruggieri. At the time Richard, from Rhode Island in the USA, was looking forward to getting started. Twelve months on, how have things gone?

“It has been a great year. I am fortunate to be around a great group of student athletes. They bring energy each and every day and take pride in making good decisions,” says Richard. “We continue to build a strong foundation, get better each day and take nothing for granted. I would not want it any other way.”

The year has panned out pretty much as planned. “From a rowing perspective nothing came as a surprise. Some areas needed attention, others simply maintained. The area that surprised me most was the ease of moving to another country. Simply put, Ireland is a special place. The people, culture, tradition and beauty is something to behold. I am thankful for each day, even the not so good ones.”

Thankfully there have been plenty of good days and the year has had several highlights. “For me what stands out most is the current rowers buying into the big picture. Putting their trust in me and understanding that we are in it together. It certainly helps to win Gannon and the University Championships but that does not happen without achieving the little things.”

As for the low points, there were a few of those as well. “For me the lowest point was coming up short at Irish Rowing Championships and realising this was the final race for some team members. If a low point is wanting the best for them, doing our best and coming up a bit short, so be it.”
Prior to joining Trinity, Richard coached at college level in the US and also worked with the U23 national team there. So how would he compare the two different rowing scenes?

“What I love about coaching at university level in Ireland is the absence of entitlement and the ability to get back to the basics. Our rowers appreciate the opportunity, sacrifice for the opportunity and in the end maintain a love for the sport. Yes we may receive less by USA standards but that’s not always a bad thing. Now we need to figure out how to match their speed. Maybe they should join us here in Trinity for a masters or PhD!”

A characteristic of all college rowing, of course, is the natural shedding of senior team members as they graduate. Thankfully the boat club will only lose two members from their senior 8+ as they head into next season.

“Both David Butler and Will Doyle move on but will never be too far. David’s journey with Trinity covers a few years and he consistently represented it with great effort and pride. A class act in and out of the boat. Will shares these traits and will continue to lead the programme as team captain. It is an exciting time for both David and Will and we appreciate everything they achieved.”

  • For more information about DUBC (Trinity men’s rowing) click here or try their Facebook page at Dublin University Boat Club