Dáire Martin

19th Jun 2019

What is the course title you are studying: Sports and Business (Honours)
What year are you in: 1st

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you to choosing your course:
For as long as I can remember, College and Sports were always two things that didn’t really interest me, and they were both something I didn’t feel I needed or wanted to do. That being said, I didn’t know what I wanted to do either, because up until maybe 1 or 2 years ago- I wasn’t doing much at all.

All of a sudden, everything changed. I became ashamed and unhappy with myself and my body very quickly, something that probably didn’t just come out of the blue and that was building over years and years of being extremely overweight most of my life. I became motivated and focused on what I wanted to achieve and whilst doing this, I found the gym and all the amazing people that came with it.

I started aggressively, something that probably wasn’t advised. I started personal training 4 times a week, I was getting nutritional consultations and plans and before I knew it, all I would think about was the gym, improving myself, getting stronger and getting better.

My coach introduced me to Strongman and I was immediately hooked, after my first session with the local Strongman club, I got sick. I got sick after the next one and the one after that too but I loved it.

It was during this time that I realised I loved what my Coach had and what his job was, I wanted to have it too. I looked into different Personal Training Schools around Ireland, and was set on taking a year out to become a Personal Trainer. My Dad found the degree on the IT Sligo website and of course, being so set on my initial plan I didn’t even read it. After taking a step back once I got my Leaving Cert results back in August, I realised that this course had everything I wanted and more, and doing it was a real no-brainer.

What specifically about the course do you particularly enjoy:
I think over everything, the thing I enjoy most about this course is the healthy and subtle mix of Sports and Business, which is surprising if I’m honest as this was the thing that I was scared about most.

I never really got along with heavy theory classes or business subjects. I didn’t even do a business subject for the Leaving Cert, but this is something I can truthfully say wasn’t at all as intimidating or difficult as it looked. The way it’s introduced and taught by the lecturers is ideal and just the right way.

What is the best thing about your course that you think new applicants should know:
Something that I didn’t really understand before starting this course was the true vast amount of qualifications you receive, as well as the Degree itself.

Between becoming a personal trainer, Lifeguard, surfing instructor, walking instructor and so much more, it’s not just the degree you receive at the end of the 3 years.

If you were speaking with a first year student about to start your course, what advice/information would you give them:
Depending on the route you take to do this course, Level 8 Honours or Level 7, I think maintaining a healthy attendance, keeping up with your studies and managing your hobbies/sports is most important. Finding a balance is extremely difficult, and the right balance is even harder. It’ll take lots of playing around and experimenting but once found, it’ll make everything so much easier.

My balance involved walking to the gym at midnight, training for 2 or 3 hours and then walking 45 minutes back to my student accommodation at 2am or 3am. It probably wasn’t ideal, but it worked for me and truly allowed me to keep training hard while staying afloat with college work.

If you are involved in Sport, volunteering, working or have other passions you pursue outside of your academic life, can you tell us about that.
I just turned 19 years old and I compete in Strongman. Around 22 Months ago I was obese. Unhappy, unmotivated, unhealthy. I weighed around 118kg (19 stone).

After losing almost 6 Stone, I competed in my first National Strongman competition in August in the under 85kg category missing out on 4th by 1 point. I was the youngest competitor by 8 Years and pulled a 10 Tonne Truck (20,000lbs) and won the 230kg Super yoke event comfortably.

I quickly earned the respect from fellow competitors and became known for being “Speedy Dáíre”, or “The Bambi”.

I was told I should not enter the competition and I was biting off more than I could chew. I was told I wouldn’t make the weigh-ins, I was told I should expect to place last and that I was wasting my time. I proved them wrong and I loved doing so. Since then, I have competed in Galway and hope to compete plenty over the summer both nationally and internationally.

On the 5th of September, 2018- I travelled to Dublin for a film shoot with Vodafone as part of their “Fuel your Passion” Campaign. The video has been used as an advertisement for Vodafone X already and will continue to be promoted online and hopefully soon on Television. The video showcases my journey in Strongman, struggle with my previous overweight self and the importance of having a passion. The amount of support and kind messages from the people of Ireland and the UK has been humbling.

Before the filming of the video, SBD heard about this too, they kindly sponsored me and sent me all the equipment I could possibly need to help me both in training but in my future Strongman career. This was a massive achievement and something I am incredibly proud of, as this is the same company that sponsors the current and previous World’s Strongest Man. Upon arriving in Sligo for my first year of college, ROM Sligo also approached me wishing to sponsor me, again- something I was so humbled by. ROM allowed me to train during the semesters late at night which was something that truly allowed me to take my training to the next level and without having to worry about financial strain.

I have an absolute wonderful team of people around me, family, friends, sponsors and now, even my college awarding me a scholarship, Strongman is a lonely sport, but it feels a lot less lonely with all of these amazing people and places supporting and believing in me, almost as much as I believe in myself.

What are your plans after IT Sligo and any long term goals you are aiming for:
I truly cannot wait to be a fully qualified personal trainer and help others transform their life, like I transformed mine. Helping people become happier, healthier and reach their goals is my main objective after IT Sligo, and opening my own gym down the line is the ultimate dream/obsession.

Sporting Wise, competing in Ireland’s and Britain’s Strongest Man is a must, and even experimenting with power lifting and Olympic weightlifting too.

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