21 September 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

The Olympics and Paralympics in the recent past have brought athletics onto our TV screens and have left us feeling proud of the achievements of our Irish athletes. We have a star and possible future Olympian here in our midst.
Six Gold Medals, five Silver Medals and one Bronze Medal – that’s the medal tally so far this year for Beech Hill College student, Garbhan McKenna on the athletics track. Garbhan has represented his school, his club, his province and his country over the past months. Add two prestigious awards to that.
If that is not enough Garbhan is an Ireland underage international footballer, who has had trials with top English clubs Chelsea, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest.
Garbhan has featured in Irish Runner magazine and in the Irish Independent’s Fit Magazine.
In June Fit Magazine described him as a “talented teenager … who reigned supreme in the boys’ 100m hurdles” at the Tailteann Irish Schools’ Interprovincial. In the same magazine in August the Beech Hill College student was cited as being “among the standout performers at the Woodie’s DIY National Combined Events Championships at Morton Stadium” where the 16-year-old McKenna “impressed in finishing third in the Under-18 Octathlon – a taxing eight events: 110m hurdles, high jump, shot putt, javelin, long jump, 100m, 400m and 1000m” .
Success doesn’t come easy and Garbhan takes his training very seriously. His winter training regime will involve 5 to 6 days per week focussing on endurance, strength, technique and core work etc. It also requires mental and physical discipline and attention to diet. Added to all of this is the fact that Garbhan is in 6th Year at Beech Hill College preparing for his Leaving Certificate next June. Following that he is considering studying Sports Science at DCU.
Garbhan’s immediate focus is on the Scottish Open Championships in January 2013 and is training to qualify for the IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine in July 2013.
P.E. Teachers at Beech Hill College said that they recognised talent in Garbhan from day one and are sure that he will feature in the highest rankings in national and international athletics, particularly in the 100m and 110m hurdles.

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