Ellen relaxing in the sun

Ellen Keane on Winning a Medal in Rio

September 29th, 2016, by   David   D

In the lead-in to Rio I was just so nervous and I think all that nervous energy and frustration was exhausting me. Even though I was tapered and ready to compete I was so tired all the time and so nervous. I think that showed in my 200m IM. But when it came to the breaststroke I wanted to win my heat and that’s what I did. That kind of relaxed me a bit more and set me up for the final.

I know the other two girls who medalled with me really well. I spent two years in boarding school in England and Claire (Cashmore, silver medallist) used to swim there. She wasn’t there when I was there but there’s a group of Paralympian... Read More

Recovery Session

Final Preperations for Michael McKillop

August 31st, 2016, by   David   D

I’m leaving for the Paralympics on August 31 with a group of my teammates. Paralympics Ireland gave us a choice of three departure dates and they have a holding camp in Uberlandia beforehand, but I’m one of those flying straight to the athletes’ village because I feel 11 days will be enough to acclimatise and prepare. I only have one event - the T37 1500m – in Rio. I won the 800m and 1500m in London but, since then, the international body (IPC) decided there isn't room on the programme to allow a T37-38 800m. They want to encourage more female participation in Paralympic sport and have increased the number of events f... Read More

Mark Rohan

Mark Rohan on Move to UCFB Sports College

August 22nd, 2016, by   David   D

Since graduating with an MBA in Sports Management from Madrid last month I’ve moved to UCFB, a sports college based in Wembley Stadium, for a six-week internship. But, in between, I was briefly in Portugal as I recently bought an orange farm in Messines, an agricultural town about 20 minutes’ drive from Albuferia in the Algarve. It hasn’t been lived in for 20 years so it needs a lot of work – it’s definitely a long-term project!

The plan is to design an environmentally-friendly sports retreat for high performance individuals and teams, with a holistic approach centred around the athlete or individual. I first went to P... Read More

Michael McKillop Selfie

Exciting Few Weeks for Michael McKillop

August 24th, 2016, by   David   D

It has been a very exciting few weeks, starting with Paralympic Ireland’s ‘More Than Sport’ fundraising ball in Dublin in early July. I don’t think Paralympic sport in Ireland ever had an event like it before and it was a fantastic night. Companies came and paid serious money for a table, and there was an auction too where people were bidding thousands of euros. I don’t think the awareness of Paralympic sport would have been big enough before to present an evening like that, so it was really amazing to see people willing to support us like that. They may not even understand the value of that money to our sport but I r... Read More

Jason Smyth Running

Jason Smyth Reflects on Rio Countdown

August 19th, 2016, by   David   D

In the past four weeks I’ve been racing in a lot of able-bodied competitions, including the European Championships in Amsterdam, from which I’ve just returned. First came the National Championships in Santry, where I won the 100m. It was four years since I’d competed at them, so it was long overdue and great to be there and win a title. I won the 100m once before (2011) and it is very satisfying because I don’t know how many Paralympic athletes have won their able-bodied national championships.

For me, that’s part of my philosophy; to show that you can achieve whatever you want to achieve. Just because I can’t see very... Read More

Ellen Keane Swimmer

Ellen Keane Overwhelmed by Support

August 17th, 2016, by   David   D

IT’S just two weeks since Paralympics Ireland formally announced the team for Rio and somehow it made everything a bit more real. It kinda hit home just how quickly they’re coming now! They held the team announcement at Dublin City Hall. It was great to have it in such a historic and beautiful building and my mom and dad came to it. Our chef de mission Denis (Toomey) introduced each athlete one-by-one and did it alphabetically. That meant us swimmers were last out. Just as he got to us Hayley, our team manager, decided to get a really funny photo of us all together and, for some reason, it’s been circulating everywher... Read More

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