After a number of years of service to the Club, either on Committee or helping to run events, Karen Graham had indicated earlier this year her intention to step down as Rowing Convenor at the AGM. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck in March, she agreed to continue in the role to help provide stability in what were turbulent and frightening times. As that storm has eased she feels it appropriate to step aside now and let her proposed successor, Karyn Donnachie, take the helm full time.
Karen Graham started rowing at the Club in the mid 90’s, competing in the numerous Scottish Jollyboat Championship events before winning her first international event, the Coxed Pairs at the 1999 Celtic Watersports Festival in Largs. Her re-engagement in competitive rowing back in 2010, when the Club helped found the SCRA, led to joining the Committee in March 2017.
Other than encouraging the growth of competitive rowing at the Club in the last few years she has also been involved in running a number of events at the Club or organising the teams to attend events all over Scotland. Her enthusiasm for all aspects of rowing at the Club led to the inhouse refurbishment of two of our four Jollyboats, to make them seaworthy for the Castle to Crane races. Due to her encouragement the Club again had the largest entry at this event last year, with two Jollyboats and two St. Ayles Skiffs. We also provided two of the safety boats and the Start Line Team.
Karen organised and took a team of 20 to represent the Club at the Skiffie World Championships last year. Most of the crews made their event finals, one of them only just missed out on the medals by a few seconds. The entire team plus all the accompanying family and friends had a fantastic time there for a week. Credit must go to Karen for taking the Club to a new level.
Since Karyn Donnachie was co-opted onto Committee earlier in the year she has been working with Karen Graham in order to maintain continuity. Karen will continue to provide Karyn with support in the coming months as we start to get back out rowing and will remain an integral part of the competitive rowing group at the Club.