Ronan Gallagher – BBs (Hons) in Sports with Business

Name: Ronan Gallagher

School: Loreto Community College, Milford, Donegal

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

I’m 20 years old and from Donegal but stay in Sligo during the week. I chose this course because I’m a very sporty person and wanted to find a course that blends that with an honours degree, so this course was ideal for me. The thought of having a full business degree after three years, as well as experiencing a lot of new sporting activities also appealed to me.

Why did you choose ATU Sligo? 

I chose to study at ATU Sligo because I had heard from a few past students of ATU who live in my area say how much they enjoyed their experience studying here.  I had always wanted to experience living away from home for college and I felt ATU Sligo was the best option for me. The main reason was that whilst I was living away from home, my house in Carrigart was still only two hours away and at the same time, I knew I’d never be too far away from my family. I had also been training with the ATU football team and had known some of the boys that play.

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

Make sure you get the right balance between going out and enjoying yourself with your friends and your studies. Try your best not to miss any classes because it’s far easier and way less stressful when you stay on top of your work. Participate in class and college events even if you feel a little bit out of your comfort zone at first because you’ll find that they can be enjoyable. Finally, make sure to look after yourself, eat healthily and stay active! This is so important for your well-being when at college.

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

Sligo is brilliant as a student town because the students that stay in student accommodation are all close together so it’s easy to make friends. The nightlife speaks for itself, you’ll never have to go far to get a party but in general, it’s great fun going out, especially with new friends. There are plenty of options to go out for good food or if you’re too lazy, JustEat is a good tool!

What specifically about your course do you particularly enjoy? 

I enjoy some of the practical aspects of my course such as going on placement and the community leader programme as you get to learn so much about what it’s going to be like after you graduate. The business side of things can also be enjoyable. I’ve learned so much more in this area after two years of doing this course. The student–lecturer relationships have also made me enjoy my time at ATU Sligo as they’re all very approachable and can give advice on anything not just their subject.

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

If you have a keen interest in the sport and leisure industry or business in general, this course is great. You learn everything you need to become a personal trainer, business manager, entrepreneur and many more. If you enjoy sports you’ll get to have the opportunity to take a group in the community on a 6-week programme in the third year which is what I’m doing at the minute with a classmate and love it. All the lecturers in the course are extremely helpful and approachable.

Tell us about your sporting career/success so far? 

I am currently on a sports scholarship at ATU Sligo for soccer and we finished runners up in both the Elite league and Perpetual Cup in the last season. I scored the opening goal in the Perpetual Cup final against SETU Carlow.

I got promoted from the Finn Harps u19 squad to the first team this season and was part of the panel for the first half of the season. I then had a spell in GAA with the Donegal u20s but hope to get back with Finn Harps in the new year when I return from injury.

I was a member of the Finn Harps u19 squad in 2019 and 2020 and the u17 squad in 2018 that won the U17 League of Ireland and Mark Farren Cup receiving the man of the match in the cup final.

I was part of the Ulster Schools soccer team that took part in the interprovincial competition in November 2018 where we finished runners up. From there I made the provisional panel for the International school’s u18 team.

I captained my u17 secondary school team to an Ulster title in 2018.

I was a member of the Donegal Schoolboys team from 2013-to 2017 where I won two Foyle cups, played in the Milk Cup and played in several friendly tournaments in the UK including tournaments at Derby County, Glasgow Celtic and Sheffield Utd.

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

I enjoy the bond between the players and managers training and playing with the ATU Sligo soccer team. The changing rooms are perfect and both the grass and Astroturf pitches are of good quality. I also really liked using the gym in the Knocknarea Arena throughout the college year.

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

The sports scholarship has benefited me greatly because the funds go a long way in helping me sustain living away from home and helping me pay for my college expenses throughout the year. This may not have been feasible without the help of the sports scholarship as I don’t receive college income in any other form. The free membership of the Knocknarea Arena gym was a great advantage for me in the first year as I could go and do a gym session before, after or in between classes which is something I enjoyed without worrying about paying each time I went.

Find out more about AU903 Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Sport with Business

Find out more about AU804 Bachelor of Business in Applied Sport with Business

Find out more about ATU Sligo Sports Scholarships