On Wednesday last, students from St Louis Secondary School were treated to a visit from three-time Olympic slalom kayaker Eoin Rheinisch as part of the Sky Sports Living For Sport programme.
Sky Sports have over 100 world class athlete mentors who deliver free visits to schools where they share their inspiring stories of success and support teachers to deliver their projects.
The St Louis Living for Sport project aims to work with students who are dedicated and committed to sport in the school.
Teacher Kate O’Byrne wants the project to reward the students for their enthusiasm and involvement in St Louis and to show how sport helps a student to achieve in all areas of their lives.
The Dundalk school has been involved with the initiative right from the start and over the last four years the school has had visits from Dermot Gascoyne, Eilish Byrne, Michael McKillop and Natalya Coyle.
Rheinisch, who competes for Ireland and also coaches the Irish Junior and U23 slalom kayaking teams, was the latest mentor to visit the school.
Part of his work is also with the Irish Institute of Sport and after finishing his work with the St Louis girls, he went straight to deliver a talk to the Irish boxers who are going to Rio in the summer about how to prepare for the Rio Olympics.
“Sport is a powerful medium, and I am fortunate my sporting career has given me an education which money cannot buy,” said Rheinisich.
“It is an exciting challenge for me to teach practical skills, to motivate and inspire young people to achieve personal satisfaction and maximise potential through the Sky Sports Living for Sport programme.”
Rheinisich’s presentation was lauded by O’Byrne, who said: “Eoin delivered a fascinating talk, focusing on sports psychology, inspiring the girls to believe and achieve and to be positive in their thinking.
“He explained that you need to fail in life to progress in life, reminding us to see FAIL as the First Attempt In Learning, something that can always be improved upon,” she added.
The talk was particularly relevant for the school’s senior basketball team who were due to compete in the All Ireland quarter-final play-offs last Saturday.