Ciaran Mc Keon – BBs (Hons) in Sports with Business

Name: Ciaran Mc Keon

School: Coola PPS, Co. Sligo

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you to choosing your course 

I am from Sligo and living in Ballintogher in Sligo and commute to ATU each day as it is only outside town. I have four brothers. I have been playing football with my club St Michaels since I was 4 and then I started playing with the Sligo GAA academy at u13 and have played ever since. Luckily, I have had success along the way, winning a Manning Cup at u16 and a Tedd Webb Plate also. I have represented Sligo at Minor and u20 level too. I have a massive interest in sport, but especially GAA. During secondary school, I always had an interest of teaching or coaching down the line. By doing Sport with Business, I can get a deeper insight into coaching to see would I like it, while also, having an option of teaching after the course. I also wanted to stay in Sligo, as the ATU was very appealing, and it would be easier to fit in other things in my life. My massive interest in sport led me to this course, over other courses.  

Why did you choose ATU Sligo? 

For several reasons – as I am quite content living at home surrounded by friends and family, in my comfort zone. Another reason would be how interesting the course looked to me. It is quite a unique course, but one that was appealing to me, and I went for it. I play my football with my club and my county Sligo, so I was happy enough to stay around and train and go to the gym in Sligo. There are also serious advantages to not paying for accommodation – which seems to be going up and up in price every year.  

What advice would you give someone thinking about choosing ATU Sligo? 

Obviously if you are living in a different county, then come down to an Open Day and see what the lecturers have to say and have a look around the college. But I think the ATU has made unbelievable improvements in a lot of areas – the campus is so clean and nice, and the canteen staff are friendly, and prices are reasonable. For myself as a local student, I would recommend it to other Sligo students, as there are so many advantages of staying in Sligo. There is always an option down the road to explore elswhere.  

Do you like Sligo as a student town? e.g. things to do, food, nightlife, clubs and societies, accommodation etc. 

I would have been used to the town and the night hotspots and restaurants in the town centre and I have to say, there are so many new interesting places in town and lots of stuff to do outside of town too. The new roads and road development really add to how easy it is to do things in Sligo. I love living outside of Sligo town as it makes you appreciate how nice the town is when you are in it.  

What specifically about your course do you particularly enjoy? 

I love how interesting it is and the balance between Sports and Business. Every module is so different, and it gives you such a broad aspect of the areas of Sports and Business. 

What would you say to a student thinking about studying your course? 

I would highly recommend it as it is so interesting. But also because, it can lead down so many different paths, it is so broad, you can go down the Business side of it – marketing, business technology, accounting, financial management, or the Sports/Coaching side of it – Teaching, PE Teaching, Coaching, Sports Tech, Sports Administrative work, etc. 

Tell us about your sporting career/success so far? 

In my underage years at my club, we won the u13 feile in Sligo in 2015, which qualified us for the National Feile championships in Co. Kerry in 2016, which was a brilliant experience. We won the Minor B Shield in 2018 which is my main piece of silverware with my club, but I have had great memories and reaching finals nearly each year.  For my county, I won a Tedd Webb Plate in 2018, along with a Manning Cup in 2018 and also an Ulster League Shield in 2019, all brilliant to win, but especially the Fr. Manning Cup, involving great teams like Dublin, Meath, Offaly and eventually beating Wicklow in the final. Personally, I am extremely proud of the fact I started every game from u16 to Minor championship and all the games in the Minor Championship in 2019. Last year, I made my u20 debut and this year I and the team, hope to win the Connacht u20 championship. On an individual level, been awarded the Coola PPS Player of the Year in the 2020, was a nice end to my school career. 

What is the best thing about sport and sports facilities at ATU Sligo? 

ATU has great sports facilities for every sport, not just GAA. This makes it more appetizing for us athletes to play for ATU. Not to mention all the brilliant sports athletes in all sports, studying in ATU Sligo. 

How has the sports scholarship benefited you? What are the advantages to it? 

The financial support of the scholarship is the main benefit for me, but it is also very proud for me being awarded a scholarship in my local college. Having access to all sports facilities is a massive help to my training as I can balance them with my studies.  

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