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COBRA - Coleraine Alumni Rowing Association

We were originally formed as Coleraine Old Boys' Rowing Association (COBRA) by past pupils of Coleriane Academical Institution (CAI). When the school amalgamated with the girls Coleraine High School to form Coleraine Grammar School, we changed our operating name to "COBRA - Coleraine Alumni Rowing Association", although our Limited Company and Charities Commission registration remain in the original name

For more than 80 years C.A.I. had maintained a strong, proud, rowing tradition, producing excellent crews, year after year, that had competed successfully throughout Great Britain and Ireland. From C.A.I. crews, oarsmen had gone on to excel further in club and national crew boats basing their success on the comprehensive and complete rowing platform that they obtained, thanks to their experiences at CAIBC. This proud rowing tradition continues under the club’s new guise of CGSRC



Richard Archibald

The Coleraine Alumni Rowing Association (COBRA) has played a crucial role in sustaining rowing within the school, and over time has contributed significantly to its growth. COBRA has brought leadership and support to the club, assisting with providing skilled coaches, enthusiastic volunteers and purchasing equipment for the use of the young rowers. The presence of COBRA has also helped shape the club’s culture, with past generations of rowers maintain a keen interest and connection with the current up-and-coming rowers. The club has been fortunate to have a number of former rowers who have competed at the Olympic Games, and COBRA has acted as a support to those individuals, but has itself benefited from strong bond with those rowers who continue to champion rowing at the school. Without the support of COBRA I have no doubt that rowing at Coleraine Grammar School would not be in such a strong position as it is today, with the club having sustained success and continuing to develop new generations of rowers.

Richard Archibald, Olympic Rower

Richard Chambers

Over the years COBRA has played a significant role in the continual evolution of rowing at CAI and then Coleraine Grammar. The school has through the years helped develop many outstanding athletes who have been able to perform on the world stage for both Ireland and Great Britain. COBRA has played an integral part in this. The link between COBRA and the school is still young and it is exciting to see what new heights the school athletes can take in the years to come.

Richard Chambers, Olympic Medallist

Alan Campbell

August 3rd 2012 is a day that will stay with me forever, lifting an Olympic Bronze medal at the London 2012 games. This came 16 years after first taking up the sport of rowing on the banks of the River Bann, an action that changed the course of my life and a roster of other young people that have gone on to be successful and create a legacy for rowing, Coleraine and Northern Ireland. This legacy is predicated on the support of COBRA and its members. Members that coach, fund raise and support year on year to produce future champions and resilient young people to use the sport of rowing to build their own success. It’s widely understood by COBRA that any investment in the young people of Coleraine is a long term investment that may take a life time or just 16 years to produce that legacy.

Alan Campbell, Olympic Medallist

George Hull

The sense of ownership and connection that our rowers retain for the rowing club after they leave school is unrivalled and the envy of other sports and clubs. This connection is embodied by COBRA – Coleraine Alumni Rowing Association and its members, who since 2000 have helped support rowing in Coleraine Inst and now Coleraine Grammar School. In the early days COBRA’s primary role was to provide coaching and administrative support for the late Bobbie Platt MBE, and it is fair to say their input was paramount to the survival of rowing in CAI. As time has moved on and the needs of the rowing club have changed, COBRA – Coleraine Alumni Rowing Association has evolved too. Members can still be found at the boathouse on a daily basis coaching on the river. Fundraising has been a constant and taken on many forms from floral art demonstrations to cycling from Mizen Head to Malin Head. Additionally, willing volunteers have driven buses and towed trailers the length of Ireland and beyond. Countless rowers and the school are indebted to COBRA – Coleraine Alumni Rowing Association for their efforts over the years and we look forward to working together to maintain the proud tradition of rowing in CAI and now CGS.

Dr George Hull, Teacher in charge of Rowing, CGS

Ryan Totten

In the absence of COBRA, there would be no rowing at Coleraine Grammar School. Our club is reliant on donations which are predominantly provided by COBRA. Their philanthropic altruism has provided us with rowing machines, boats, oars and more. Our coaches are all volunteers and COBRA members who meet every session with eager enthusiasm and unwavering care.

Ryan Totten, Boys Captain 2023

Brooke Reeves

COBRA has done many outstanding things to help provide for our rowing at Coleraine Grammar School since the amalgamation of Coleraine Academical Institution and Coleraine High School. Without the astounding continued contribution of coaching experience for all our rowers and financial support through the purchasing of equipment, we wouldn’t be the club that we are today. COBRA has offered many new opportunities for rowers, which wouldn’t have been achieved without the incredible support from them throughout the years. The achievements Coleraine Grammar School Rowing Club has obtained would not have been achieved without the continued commitment of COBRA and their volunteer coaches.

Brooke Reeves, Girls Captain 2022