Olympian Derval O’Rourke and UFC coach John Kavanagh delivered a lunchtime ‘masterclass’ in health and fitness at Garda Headquarters on December 5th 2014. A large turn-out of gardaí and civilian support staff filled the Garda Bandroom to hear the talk from two Irish sporting greats. Derval O’Rourke, a former world indoor hurdles champion, Olympian and coach of Ireland’s fittest family was joined on stage by coach John Kavanagh, professional UFC mixed martial arts coach and owner of a number of gyms in the Dublin area.
The committee of Coiste Roinne in Garda Headquarters decided to organise this event to create an awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle and to encourage members to participate in some form of physical activitiy.
Superintendent Brian Brunton said, “Coiste Roinne and Coiste Siamsa branches exist in every garda division and exist to promote awareness and participation in sport on the part of garda members. For the purposes of encouraging new membership and raising the profile of Coiste Roinne and Coiste Siamsa, we decided to organise a high profile free entry motivational talk and Q&A session to be held in Garda HQ”.
Acting as MC for the event was Garda Niamh Briggs of Roxboro Road Garda Station, who received a Garda Sportstar award in 2014. Briggs has been capped over 40 times for Ireland since 2006 and was recently named the Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland ‘Player of the year.’
Speaking first, John Kavanagh spoke informally about how he pioneered the dynamic combat sport of mixed martial arts in Ireland. He discussed the setting up of his successful gym chain, Straight Blast Gym Dublin, and explained some of his ideas about the role of enjoyment in motivating people to stick to their training programs.
Kavanagh is the coach of successful Irish UFC fighter ‘The Notorious’ Connor McGregor and provided a fascinating insight into McGregor’s fight preparation and mental approach.
Derval O’Rourke, one of Ireland’s most successful female international athletes, spoke next and discussed the role of nutrition. O’Rourke talked about her early years in athletics and how she developed into an Olympic-level athlete representing Ireland successfully at three indoor hurdle championships.
It was apparent that O’Rourke and Kavanagh were able to find significant common ground in the course of their talks and the lunch-time talk became an informal questions and answers session, with many audience members asking the speakers their opinions on a variety of issues, from diet to self-motivation.
Following the conclusion of the talk Assistant Commissioner John Twomey thanked Kavanagh and O’Rourke and made a presentation to them on behalf of Coiste Siamsa for their contribution.
Members interested in getting in contact with Coiste Roinne HQ can contact Superintendent Brian Brunton (Ext 62817) or Detective Garda Ruairi Quinn (Ext 62809).
By Ruairi Quinn
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