Development & Alumni Relations Office 


24 September 2018

Banbridge man Philip Doyle, who graduated with a MB BCh BAO in Medicine from the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences at Queen’s at the end of June, has been enjoying a highly successful summer rowing for Ireland – not bad for someone who only took up the sport four years ago!

Philip, who started rowing while studying medicine at Queen’s, won multiple gold and silver medals in events at the British University and Colleges Sports regatta as a member of the Queen’s University’s Belfast Boat Club (QUBBC).

He became the first Queen’s student picked to represent Ireland in rowing at a senior level, when he competed in the World Cup in Lucerne in Switzerland in July. The Queen’s Blue rower was then selected for the Rowing Ireland Senior High Performance Team for the 2018 World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in the heavyweight men’s double sculls along with University College Cork athlete, Ronan Byrne.

During the Championships, Philip kept a diary of his experiences – the highs and lows, his hopes and fears – which can be found on the Rowing Ireland website.  

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last month Philip said: “So I train 18 times a week, anything from four to seven hours a day depending on the session structure and what competitions are coming up – and depending on my work.

“My training is always a mix of sessions in the boat, on the rowing machine or in the gym. The Elite Athlete Programme at Queen's has certainly been a great support to me.

“At the beginning of the year I sit down with my coach and set out my goals and we then figure out how they can be achieved.

“My coach Mick Desmond worked tirelessly with me and with Queen's Sport to facilitate my achievements and helped me work towards my senior international debut, in Lucerne last month, where I came 15th out of 27.”

In March, Philip was recognised for his heroic bravery following an incident on the Lagan last year. Alongside QUBBC teammates Chris Beck and Tiernan Oliver, Philip helped save the life of Terry Bell who had fallen into the river while they were taking part in a Lagan Scullers Club river race, on the morning of Saturday 25 November.

Philip was awarded the Students' Union President's Award for Student Achievement which recognises a student or group of students who have demonstrated excellence in leadership or have made a positive impact on society.

Celebrating success – academic and sporting – and looking forward to the future Philip had an important message for other students, when he talked to a University spokesperson ahead of his graduation.

“I would encourage all students in Queen's to get involved – and stay involved – in sport throughout their University careers. I urge them not to give it up when exams come and assignments start to build up, but instead use sport as a positive factor to keep them disciplined and help them perform in both the exam hall and the sporting arena.

“It feels great to finally finish my medical studies at Queen's, but also scary as the University has supported me so much the last two years.

“Continuing with both rowing and medicine from this point will prove to be very difficult without the backing of my head coach Mick Desmond and Queen’s Sport, but I look forward to the challenges ahead!"

To find out more about supporting the Annual Fund Sports Academy and Rowing at Queen’s visit the Development Office website or contact Paddy Gilmore.

General enquiries to Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Development and Alumni Relations Office, tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5321.


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