Trinity Sport and Trinity Access Programme (TAP) in collaboration with the Dublin University Boating Club (DUBC) and Dublin University Ladies Boat Club (DULBC) are running a series of week-long Rowing summer camps throughout the month of June. The camps are open to all 4th and 5th year students in TAP’s linked schools.

Running from Monday to Friday, students start their week at the Trinity Sport Centre where they meet their rowing instructors and are educated on the work of Trinity Access Programme (TAP), why they should consider Trinity College Dublin when moving on to third level education and the many support systems available to them such as, The Trinity Access Programme foundation course, HEAR, DARE and SUSI. The rowing camp then moves to Islandbridge Boathouse, where they learn the basics of rowing before spending three days practising on the water. The rowing camp presents scholarship opportunities for students who wish to take up the rowing at Trinity College Dublin in future years.

Wendy Crampton, Director of Trinity Access Programme (TAP) at Trinity College Dublin commented "As the Director of Trinity Access Programmes, I am thrilled to highlight our organisation's role in co-facilitating the month-long Summer Rowing Camps in collaboration with the esteemed Dublin University Boating Club (DUBC) and Dublin University Ladies Boat Club (DULBC). This initiative aims to engage and empower 60 4th and 5th year students, and to provide them with a unique opportunity to cultivate their aspirations to thrive in higher education settings like Trinity College, Dublin. Through this partnership, we aim to equip students with the skills of communication, teamwork, and confidence through Rowing on the water and to support them on their path of success and excellence in the future. For some it may be their first-time taking part in a TAP programme while for others it is part of a continual involvement in all the opportunities, we are able to offer students in our linked schools and those who take part in the Schools of Distinction Programme.”

Matthew Dossett, Deputy Director of Sport, and Physical Activity at Trinity College Dublin commented, “We are delighted to collaborate with Trinity Access Programme (TAP), Dublin University Boat Club (DUBC) and Dublin University Ladies Boat Club (DULBC) for the Rowing summer camps. This is a great opportunity for Trinity College Dublin to connect with young students in the local community and get them involved with sport at university. We hope that these camps will provide students with not only a foundation to grow their rowing skills but also a lasting connection to sport at Trinity College Dublin and Trinity Access Programme.”

Isabel Doyle, Captain of Dublin University Boat Club, commented, ““This summer camp, in conjunction with Trinity Access Programme is named after Rob Van Mesdag, an Olympian and DUBC alumnus who provided the seed funding for this programme. Rob was passionate about spreading his love for rowing with all. He truly believed in Trinity Rowing’s long-held ethos of inclusivity and respect. Anyone willing to put in the hard work is welcome, regardless, and irrespective of background. As of this summer, Rob would be incredibly proud that over 100 young people have been introduced to a sport we all love.”

Alicia O’ Neill, Captain of Dublin University Ladies Boat Club, commented, “DULBC finds great fulfilment in providing a camp that allows young people to engage in the sport of rowing, learn new skills, work as a team, and allow them to spend their summer building new friendships and life skills. Together with Dublin University Boat Club (DUBC) and Trinity Access Programme (TAP) and Trinity Sport, we aim to inspire their journey to college, encouraging them to pursue higher education and help them discover all that trinity student life has to offer. We are proud to showcase our club and to promote inclusivity in rowing, especially women in sport, and to highlight how hard work and determination pays off both on and off the water.”

The camp is named after Trinity alumni Rob Van Mesdag who rowed in the 1952 Summer Olympics and won a bronze medal in the 1955 European Championships. He rowed at St. Andrew’s School in Delaware, USA before attending Trinity College with his brother in the 1940’s. After graduating, he became a freelance correspondent reporting on sailing and rowing and even went on become a member of the London Rowing Club. He sadly passed away on the 18th July in 2018 but his memory lives on through the students who benefit from the lessons taught at the camp named in his honour.

The Trinity Access Programme Rowing Camp is Supported by the Sunflower Charitable Foundation through Community Foundation Ireland.