Some very interesting slime has surfaced from Ulster rowing circles, where, The slug has heard the after effects from foot and mouth has opened up a BIG can of worms ....

For those of you who aren't aware of the situation for clubs in Northern Ireland, I shall explain their predicament. Depite being in the United Kindgom (of Great Britian and Northern Ireland - note extra special mention), unlike the other constituant parts (Scotland- SARA, Wales-WRA and England- ARA) clubs in Northern Ireland don't have their own governing body, instead they come under the duristiction of the Irish Amateur Rowing Union along with all the clubs in the Republic of Ireland

You may remember that the slug recently covered the problems for Ulster crews who wanted to compete in the HORR but weren't allowed by the IARU, well the knock on effect from this has started a number of people considering the other problems Ulster rowing clubs have faced over the last few years as a direct result of the current set up.

  • because they are located in another country (the UK), when funding is available from Irish Government grants they don't automatically qualify for them.
  • A couple of years ago every club in Ireland got a new training double scull paid for by an Irish government grant but it didn't apply to the Northern Irish clubs.
  • On the other hand because they are afflicated to the Irish governing body they are also unable to receive funding from the British Sports match system and can't get included in Project Oarsome.
  • Ulster clubs have to follow UK rules for child protection and drugs which are different from those in Southern Ireland
  • When they want to enter the UK Head of the River they are treated as 'a foreign entry' - and as the number of foreign entries are limited, this means they aren't always guaranteed a slot.
  • On a purely logistical note - if a crew from a club in Belfast wants to race in the Irish National Championships they have to travel to a lake in Cork - a journey which is approx. 5-6 hours from Belfast never mind anywhere further north. Compare this to the international course in Strathclyde which is 1.5 hours on the Ferry and 2 hours in the car - total 4 hours or Holme Pierrepoint is 1.5 hours on the Ferry and only 5-6 hours in the car on decent roads. Or a short flight away.
  • As you can see not exactly getting the best of both worlds... so it's hardly surprising that there are rumblings of a breakaway group suggesting that The IARU should split and the Ulster Union will affiliate with the ARA in the same way as SARA and WRA are affiliated.

    Of course, as with most things regarding Northern Ireland nothing is starightforward, especially when the spectre of politics raises its ugly head, only time will tell, but if there are any Ulster rowers with strong opinions on what should happen, I'd be interested to hear them.


    11-04-01WOULD I LIE TO YOU?
    Regular readers may recall a recent article on the slug urging fans of the boys in blue to keep an eye on She Magazine, well....... if by chance you happen to be passing a news agent, we suggest you take the chance to browse through the May edition, specifically pages 61 and 62 and an article entitiled "HOW DO THESE MEN MEASURE UP IN BED".

    Alas, I am currently unable to bring you images of said magazine, as my scanner is buried under half a ton of crap in my spare room - but fear not as I shall endeavour to dig it out before the weekend.

    What I can do, however, is reproduce some of the text....


    Hard 8in; Soft 4 1/2in; Girth 5 1/2in
    Telltale sign?
    Alex has huge hands....

    Alex... You may see other bloke's willies, but soft they're much of a muchness. Not every women comments when she sees it, but to be honest, I like it when they do..."

    I can't bear to type any more as I'm laughing too much, so if you want to read the rest go buy the magazine.