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BOAT CLUB BULLETIN

Welcome to the Boat Club Bulletin where we keep you up to date with what’s going on in the club, from a social point of view. Let’s begin with news of a rejuvenated monthly draw:
 

Monthly Draw

 
Message from the President, Simon Bellamy:
 
“Many of our Members and Friends of the Club may not even be aware that we have a Monthly Draw. It takes place on the first Friday of the month and has done for 20 years, believe it or not, and you may be missing out. Under lockdown, we have had to modify its format slightly as we cannot all gather together in our bar.
 
Currently we have two £100 prizes and one £25.00 prize (credited to your Smart Card.)
 
  • A ticket costs just £5 per month and can be paid through your Smart Card online (log into Smart Club Cloud and click "Events" to purchase your ticket or tickets).
  • Tickets for June's draw will be available to purchase until 10am on Friday 5th June.
  • You may buy as many as you want.
  • This is just a bit of fun.
  • It may make money for you, but it will definitely make money for the Club
  • I would encourage you to take part.
 Stuart McQuitty will make the Draw this Friday live, on Facebook at approximately 7.30pm.
 
We will be launching a new Monthly Draw when the Club reopens and tickets will then cost £10.00 each as the prizes will be considerably enhanced. Watch this space...”
 
Simon

 

Get to Know Me

The ever popular “Get To Know Me”profiles continue and this week our attention turns to three of the great coaches we have operating in the water and on the courts here at the Belfast Boat Club. All three are highly dedicated individuals who want to see nothing more than one of their charges achieve Olympic or Grand Slam glory.. 
 
Meet our kayak master...
 
Name: Kieran Dews (Coach)
Age:  29
Sport: Sprint Kayaking 
 

1. When did you start your sport?
In 2008.

2. Who was your first hero or inspiration in your sport?
Probably two Australian athletes; Jesse Phillips and Steve Bird, who competed at the London 2012 Olympics.
 
3. What is the best thing you enjoy most about it?
I love being around water, but also the focus needed to prepare to meet the high intensity demands of the sport.
 
4. How often do you train or practise at the Belfast Boat Club?
The group I coach train around 10 times per week at the Boat Club. 
 
5. What is your best achievement to date?
Before moving to Northern Ireland I had coached 7 junior athletes who had competed for Australia internationally or who were part of Junior National Squads.
 
6. What are some of your goals for the next five years?
Ambitiously, coaching an athlete at the Paris 2024 Olympics.
 
7. Who do you have around to support and coach you?
My main coaching support comes from Ian Wynne; Athens 2004 Olympic Bronze Medallist and former Senior Coach for British Canoeing.
 
8. If failure was not an option what would you love to achieve in your sport?
Without doubt, to be coaching Olympic Champions.
 
9. What are some of your other favourite sports or hobbies?
I enjoy watching Powerlifting/Weightlifting/Strongman events and other boat-based sports. I also enjoy playing music.
 
10. Why would you recommend your sport to anyone else reading this?
Canoeing/Kayaking has such a wide range of disciplines within the sport that can be participated at many levels - from just having a gentle paddle along the river and enjoying nature, to competing at the top level of the sport all around the world and at the Olympic Games.
 

Next up is a man described as Superman by an elite rower in last week’s feature and you’re likely to have regularly seen him at the club for the last few years helping to mould the next group of rowing stars.
 
Meet John...
 
Name: John Armstrong
Age:  57
Sport: Rowing
 
1. When did you start your sport?
At school, age 13 in 1975 at Portora Royal School.
 
2. Who was your first hero or inspiration in your sport?
My Dad,  Mike.  He rowed for NI at the Empire games in Cardiff in 1958, while at Queens. He had lots of
trophies in a cabinet in his study, that I admired, and my Mum hated as she had to polish them.  I thought I
would like some for myself, so started rowing at school. Being able to row was one of the reasons I went to Portora, even though I knew very little about the sport.
 
3. What is the best thing you enjoy most about it?  
As a rower I loved the feeling of moving a boat effortlessly through the water, being outdoors and sort of
being in control of what I was doing.  I also found I was quite good at it and didnt like rugby, and hated football.   As a coach, I love the look on someone’s face when they make the connection between what you have told them and the feeling they have when they get it right.
 
4. How often do you train or practise at the Belfast Boat Club?  
I would coach most days, and more than one session.
 
5. What is your best achievement to date?   
As a rower, winning a bronze medal at the World Championships in 1997.   As a Coach, being at London 2012, Paralympic games with the Irish Para 4 and at the World Junior Championships in 2019 with Ireland’s Junior double scull.
 
6. What are some of your goals for the next five years?
To find enough time and motivation to get my boat back on the water and see if I can find that effortless feeling again, but realise that might be elusive.  As a Coach, to see one of the athletes that I have worked
with compete at the Olympic Games.
 
7. Who do you have around to support and coach you?
My wife as an ex-rower and coach is a great sounding board for ideas.   We have a good team of Coaches in the High Performance group at Rowing Ireland and are always learning from each other. I have been fortunate enough to have had a few really good mentors over the last 10 years that have been very supportive and am still in touch with.
 
8. If failure was not an option what would you love to achieve in your sport?
I would still love to be involved at an Olympic Games.
 
9. What are some of your other favourite sports or hobbies?
I love cooking, which I find quite therapeutic as well as an outlet for being creative. As an ex-builder, I still
get a buzz from doing DIY and making or fixing things.  
 
10. Why would you recommend your sport to anyone else reading this?
It is just so different from most other sports. It can be team work and individual. It can be social and solitary. It can be very competitive and recreational.  It’s very addictive once you get into it and, as addictions go, probably one of the healthier ones.
 

Our final profile is of the newest tennis coach in the club, but in many ways he is the Godfather of coaching in Ulster. He’s a man who has produced countless Ulster champions and several national champions as well, despite never knowingly eaten a vegetable in his life.

Name: Jim Watt
Age:    51
Sport: Tennis
 
1. When did you start playing your sport?
I  took up Tennis at 13 years old in Larne Tennis Club
 
2. Who was your first hero or inspiration in your sport?
I was an ‘80s teenager so it had to be John McEnroe
 
3. What is the best thing you enjoy most about it?
The best thing about tennis is the exercise and the loads of good people I’ve met through it, the best thing about coaching is seeing people improve and learning to enjoy our sport.
 
4. How often do you train or practise at the Belfast Boat Club?
I’m in Boat Club most days either coaching or playing myself.
 
5. What is your best achievement to date?
Best achievement - that's a tough one, but two come to mind straight away.
The first was when I was coach to an Irish Wheelchair Tennis Team which came 20th in the World Championships in Flushing Meadows, New York, and I played on Arthur Ashe Stadium court with them. 
The second was when I was with an Irish U14 Team a few years back where one of the players beat Roger Federer in a practice match!
 
6. What are some of your goals for the next five years?
In the next five years I want to help some of the players I work with to achieve their goals, but mostly I’d like all the players who I coach to still be playing and enjoying tennis in five years time.
 
7. Who do you have around to support and coach you?
Around me are my wife, Jean and two kids who help me achieve what I want to and I feel that the team of coaches here at Boat Club are as good as any around Ireland, so there is plenty of support and encouragement if I need it.
 
8. If failure was not an option what would you love to achieve in your sport?
If failure was not an option, I’d love to have a go at a few International Veteran Tournaments just for the craic. 
 
9. What are some of your other favourite sports or hobbies?
I’m a keen basketball player and still try to scrimmage once a week, and can’t resist the odd trip to Ravenhill to watch Ulster Rugby in action.
 
10. Why would you recommend your sport to anyone else reading this?
Why would I recommend Tennis is that it keeps you healthy, there is always someone else close to your level to play and I'm hoping to still be able to play when I'm 80!! A proper sport for life.
 
Jim is now coaching at the Belfast Boat Club and is available to book for lessons - just give him a call on 07710 100414 and maybe he can help train you to beat Roger Federer one day!
 

Weekly Wall of Fun

Have you made it on to the second Weekly Wall of Fun? If not, keep an eye out for our receptionists who may be taking some snaps of some sporting superlatives or why not send in your own to Stuart via WhatsApp? (07788 972577)
 

Sports Activities

Monday 1st - Sunday 7th June

Pilates with Liv
Click on either Pilates Flow or Pilates Power.
Enter the code “BOATCLUB” to get the session for FREE.
 
Yoga with Paddy
One class free per week for members.
Choose from:

  • Tues 8pm
  • Thurs 12pm
  • Sun 10am

E-mail Paddy to register for a class.

Squash - the squash courts remain closed. However, Josh is able to run outdoor squash specific fitness training for one or two players at a time on the tennis courts. Please contact Josh if you wish to book a lesson with him.
 
Rowing - up to three rowers per hour can book to go on the water. Ergometer (rowing machine) sessions are also available to book for up to one hour. These are located on the balcony of the club in the open air.
 
Tennis - all 12 courts are available for singles play or doubles provided your partner is from the same household. The coaches are also available to hire for private lessons: contact Carlos, Lynsey, Stuart or Jim to book in for a session.
 
Kayaking/Canoeing & Paddleboarding - waiting to resume their training
 
Dragon-boats - individual sessions on the dragon boat ergometer have resumed
 
Tennis Ladder for Fun - the tennis ladder for singles play is being brought back to allow members to meet new faces and enjoy a friendly game of tennis. This is will be a mixed gender and age ladder with the elite juniors allowed on as well as both male and female players - players will arrange their own matches which will be just one set long and then add the result online. It’s a chance to rediscover the joy of sets.  Full details of how to get involved will be sent later this week. 
 
We hope you can find something suitable to keep you moving and active. 

Please continue to enjoy the club safely and do take photographs of your sporting endeavours if you would like to see them included in our social media postings on Facebook or Instagram - perhaps them will even make our “Weekly Wall of Fun”.

Stuart's Weekly Quiz

Stuart’s QUIZ continues every Tuesday at 8pm for just over one hour. Connect to this via Stuart’s personal Facebook page. Send him a friend request if you like or just watch without that connection.

Gayleene's Nails & Beauty


Gayleene’s Nails & Beauty is run by Gayleene Deans in the Boat Club and she is able to supply beauty products from the Tropic brand.  Anyone wishing to support her at this time and have a relaxing treatment to look forward to when we reopen can purchase vouchers - all information is on her Facebook page.

Delizia


Also don't forget that Delizia are still running a takeaway service with their delicious Italian menu of fresh produce. The latest menus are below.
View Delizia's Takeaway Menu
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