- Name: Eimear Breathnach
- County: Dublin
1. How long are you a member of IWA Sport?
12ish years… I feel old
2. Tell us more about your involvement with IWA Sport?
My first involvement with IWA sport began whilst I was still in the NRH. I was still in a soft collar when physio Jane Lynch organised for myself and another patient to go out to IWA one Sunday to take part in one of the first wheelchair rugby sessions. Jimmy Byrne ran the session!
Then shortly after the Dublin Open table tennis competition took place so I went out to that too. And then the nationals took place a few weeks later. From then on I was hooked….. I went to a few table tennis and wheelchair rugby session over the next year in which I also went back to school. Once I finished my leaving certificate I got more involved in both table tennis and wheelchair rugby.
I started to travel with both the table tennis squad and rugby squad shortly after. The original weekend trips to the UK for the wheelchair rugby league were an experience to say the least! Jimmy Philips driving is legendary as is his generosity and helpfulness.
The staff who were most influential were Jimmy Byrne, Marie Hughes & Johnny Bridgeman in table tennis, Grainne O Regan in rugby and then when I added field events into the mix Pat Furlong.
I first tried field events whilst on a combined trip to Stoke Mandeville for the table tennis british open and then the wheelchair rugby british open.
3. Have you competed in the Paralympic Games before?
Yes. I competed in my first Paralympic Games in 2008.
4. What are your expectations going into the Games?
I want to compete better than I did in Beijing as I did not play to my potential in Beijing. I am really looking forward to them being so close to home. The support and atmosphere should be fantastic.
5. Are you enjoying the build up?
Yes and No! I enjoy competing and I especially enjoy playing well and winning matches however I hate travelling to and from competitions. I don’t like flying, in particular red eye flights and I hate sitting around airports waiting for connecting flights.
6. What advise would you give to juniors hopeful of reaching the top?
Try every sport for a few years before you focus on one sport in particular. It takes a lot of commitment to compete at the top so don’t commit until you are ready to.
7. What are your hobbies and interests outside of sport?
I spend so much time at work or training I don’t have many other interests. I like having friends over for dinner or going out to dinner with them.