Ryan O’Reilly – BBs in Business

Name: Ryan O’Reilly

School: St. Pats Cavan 

Why did you choose ATU Sligo? 

Options were limited as I never did the Leaving Cert, but thankfully ATU Sligo allowed me to progress in my studies. Had the option to complete a level 5 elsewhere and then I would have had a wide range of destinations, but I grew to like Sligo.

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

Weigh up your options, but if you’re looking for somewhere to “enjoy” your sports and have fun, there aren’t many better places. For me, balance is key!

What specifically about your course do you particularly enjoy? 

I enjoyed certain aspects of the course, like the various modules that had to be completed. Each semester modules changed, so it was nice you were always doing something different. Also, whilst on a sports scholarship, lecturers were very understanding and helpful. Smaller class sizes than say universities as well, so more close interaction with lecturers which was also very important.

Tell us about your sporting career/success so far? 

Signed for Stoke City when I turned 16, initially signing as an apprentice and eventually signing a professional contract. Spent 5 years there, whilst having loan spells at Barrow and Wrexham. Represented my country up to u21 level. Having spent 5 years in the professional game I had always dreamed of, injuries, among other things, led me to fall out of love with the game. I decided to take a step back from it and look at my priorities. I aimed to then get a degree.

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

In my opinion, the gym is most definitely the best sporting facility at ATU Sligo. You are allowed to enjoy your sports and progress in your studies, while there isn’t much pressure on you. You can enjoy both!

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

Receiving the sports scholarship has benefited me in many ways such as it has enabled me to start enjoying football again, and also gave me the chance to earn myself a degree. The benefit of being on a sports scholarship is that lecturers understand you have committed to representing the college, so they help accommodate you when you miss classes.

What long term sporting goals you are aiming for: 

Currently, I play football part-time for Cliftonville F.C in the northern Irish Premier league. I’d be lying if I said I wanted to play at the highest level I possibly could and get back in the professional game, for me, I just want to enjoy my football, whatever level that may be at.  

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