Frances Cryan from Carrick-on-Shannon the first woman to represent Ireland at rowing in the Olympics talks about the love of her sport.

'Ireland's Eye' travels to Leitrim to meet the champion rower Frances Cryan hear about her dedication to her sport.  

From a young age Frances Cryan had an interest in rowing as the Shannon flows past her back garden and from she could see women’s crews out on the river. 

She started rowing with three friends while still at school, coached by local man Aidan Nangle, from Carrick-on-Shannon Rowing Club.  Life sent the friends in different directions, and Frances eventually ended up rowing in a single scull. 

In 1980, and Frances travelled to Moscow to compete in the Olympic Games.  Her performance exceeded her personal expectations, and from that time she has continued to train hard.   Training intense, as she explains, 

You have to be very strong, and very fit.  The training I do, it consists of sprint work and strength training. Usually I do 4-5 hours every day, I do about two hours on the water, and maybe 2 hours on land, and the land training is usually weight training for strength, and running for endurance and speed.

Frances Cryan's commitment to rowing is huge.  Why does she do it? 

It’s a sport that once it gets a grip of you, you just give up everything to continue it. These are the best years for racing, and when I’m older, I can’t do this amount of training, and I’m coming into my peak now, so I don’t mind doing this amount of training.

This episode of Ireland’s Eye was broadcast on 11 May 1983.