Two AIT Students Representing Ireland at European Cross County Championships

Two AIT Students Representing Ireland at European Cross County Championships after Running Race of their Life at National Cross Country Championships

Two Athlone IT students will represent Ireland at the upcoming European Cross Country Championships which will be held in Chia, Sardinia on Sunday December 11th. Liam Brady, from Coolderry and a member of Tullamore Harriers AC, will compete as a member of the Irish senior men’s team, while Karl Fitzmaurice, from Shannon and a member of Ennis Track AC, will represent Ireland in the U23 race.

Both athletes earned their selection having excelled at the National Cross Country Championships held at Sport Ireland Campus on Sunday November 27th. Brady had the race of his life, finishing 4th and outsprinting Paul Pollock, who ran the 3rd fastest time by an Irishman in an Olympic Marathon at the Rio Olympics this past summer, on the home straight. Fitzmaurice earned automatic selection when crowned National U23 Champion in the same race.

Both athletes are full time students at AIT and have utilised the outstanding sports facilities and support services in the college to create their optimal high-performance training environment while pursuing degrees, Liam Brady a degree in Civil Engineering and Karl Fitzmaurice a Degree in Sports Science. Along with other athletics club members in the college they train daily in a variety of environments on campus which include the Indoor Arena, outdoor 400m track, grass pitches and cross-country course while benefitting from coaching support, physiological assessment, physiotherapy, soft tissue support, student mentoring, sports psychology and nutritional support.

Professor Ciaran O’Cathain, President of AIT, commenting on the two student’s success said, “We are immensely proud of the achievements of both Liam and Karl. Their preparation has been second to none in pursuit of their goal of selection for these European Championships. We believe that the AIT environment, facilities and supports we have in place for aspiring top class sportspeople have played a major role in the performances of our students. We wish both Liam and Karl the very best in Sardinia.”

Ireland have an outstanding tradition at the European Cross Country Championships with both Catherina McKiernan and Fionnuala Britton capturing individual golds along with team success at several grades, most notably the senior women’s team having medalled three times in recent years.

Gordon Brett, Sports & Recreation Manager at AIT said that, “ The emergence and selection of both athletes has been underpinned by a conscious effort on behalf of the Institute to provide the opportunities and supports for potential stars like Liam and Karl to develop their abilities to the maximum of their potential while also continuing to pursue a third level qualification. While the provision of world class indoor and outdoor facilities and other supports have been key factors for both these athletes we must also congratulate Paul McNamara our Athletics Ireland Development Officer for managing and coaching both athletes and guiding them through and sourcing the appropriate supports required for each of them to grow to this level of international achievement.”

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For Further Information

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Email: othornton@ait.ie

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