Last Saturday Olympians Alan Campbell and Richard Archibald attended an event at Coleraine Grammar School Rowing Pavilion in order to dedicate a new boat to the late Bobby Platt, MBE.
The event was attended by current pupils, parents and staff of Coleraine Grammar School and Old Boys of Coleraine Inst in order to remember the long serving rowing coach and also to name another boat after Richard Archibald.
The former Irish Lightweight four member said Bobbie was an inspiration to many.
“He wasn’t a teacher here, he wasn’t even a paid coach here, but a long time ago he was asked to come and help at Coleraine Inst,” he said.
“He came and he never left. Bobbie left a mark on pretty much anybody he was near.
“No matter where you go you will always meet someone who knew Bobbie!
“It’s important for the pupils here today to understand that without Bobbie there would probably be no rowing here today.
“He encouraged the formation of the Old Boys Rowing Association to help support the sport here at the school, and it is thriving here today.”
Before the ‘Bobbie Platt MBE was unveiled Alan unveiled the boat that was named after Richard.
Richard was clearly moved by the gesture as he had been unaware that it was happening. He said it, “was very unexpected and it had been an honour to row and learn his trade at one of the legacy schools of Coleraine Grammar.”
Speaking afterwards Alan told Times Sport: “I have been very fortunate to have come up through the ranks here at Coleraine Inst and been lucky enough to see it through to four Olympic Games.
“One person who was very imstrumental in driving this boat club forward to where it is today.
“It was because of him that people like myself, Richard Chambers etc came through and we all should thank Richard Archibald.”
The new boat that was named after Bobbie Platt MBE was purchased via funds raised by the Coleraine Old Boys’ Rowing Association over the last four years. Some of the money came from COBRA members’ donations and several special events they had held.
Later in the evening, CGS Boat Club hosted a dinner at the Royal Court Hotel, which was attended by over 150 parents, pupils, staff, old boys and special guests including Olympic medallists, Richard Archibald, Alan Campbell and GB Rowing World Champion from Fermanagh, Holly Nixon.
The evening raised over £1,300 for the boat club and a good evening was enjoyed by all.