On the 12th of September 2021 and by the glistening waters of the Corrib in Galway, we gathered with our family and friends to bless our new boat. This first boat, a tangible symbol of our hard work and dedication, came after tremendous results from fundraising. It made all of our efforts materialise into something so cherishable; A rowing boat we called ’Bernie’.
Bernie Scott was a beloved member of our crew and a dear friend. She was the first Chairperson of Row to Recovery, dedicated to lifting spirits and making sure everyone felt welcome within our little community. Nothing could stop her from heading onto the river. It was as though she belonged there. When we chose the name ‘Bernie’ for this boat, we wanted to feel as though she was still here. Still motivating us even if we didn’t feel like it. Still cheering us up when we were down. Still a part of our crew, even if she’s not with us. With a boat like Bernie, we were certain to feel protected, reassured and empowered. Just like how Bernie Scott made us feel.
Cancer is a journey no one should go through alone. On the day we blessed ‘Bernie’, we could feel the love and support from everyone who came to celebrate with us. We were surrounded by the people that have stood by us, from diagnosis to treatment and the challenges of recovery. They were family, they were friends, they were crew. What made this day even more special was sharing it with the Wall and Scott families, who were also Bernie’s family. We couldn’t have gotten to where we were without the endless support from all of you.
Blessing 'Bernie' was a powerful and emotional moment for Row to Recovery. It was a chance to honour the legacy of Bernie Scott, celebrate the collective effort that made the boat possible and reminded ourselves of the importance of this community in times of adversity. When we sit into this boat, we will carry with us the memory of Bernie, along with the love and support of everyone who helped to get us here. We finished this day feeling beyond grateful for this moment and are excited for our future adventures with ‘Bernie’.
Rowing is a cerebral low impact sport that utilizes the whole body and is accessible to all, regardless of fitness level. While a certain level of fitness is helpful, full training is offered by certified coaches and absolute beginners are welcome. Nor is age a barrier, our members range from early forty to late sixty.
Regaining a level of fitness, learning the skill of rowing, training and being part of a rowing crew in a very supportive, non competitive, fun manner are just some of the many benefits cancer patients have found when they join our crew.