Meet the Trainers: Paul Kirwan

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Paul has been with Siel Bleu since 2016 working as Dublin North’s Trainer and in recent years has taken over as Development Officer. He is a key member of the staff, who brings energy to all his classes. Get to know more about him: 

 

What is your background?

I’m from North Dublin and I always wanted to work within the sports industry. I obtained a Health & Physical Activity Degree with a focus in Sports Science about 4 years ago from Dundalk IT (first class Honour Degree!). I did work with Shelbourne Football Club as a strength and conditioning coach for their under-19 team. I found the work really interesting as I play football myself and it was nice to work at an elite level. Making the change from elite level athlete to an older athlete  was the best decision I ever made as now I’m helping people transform their lives.

What is your role at Siel Bleu?

I am both a Development Officer and a Trainer here at Siel Bleu. As the Development Officer, I am responsible for the growth of Siel Bleu in part by creating partnerships with other organisations to fill the gaps in the services offered to older adults and people living with illness. Alongside working as the Development Officer, I complete normal training duties. Once a week, on Tuesday, I teach a class in Drumcondra. However, I cover a maximum of six different classes a week when trainers are sick or on holiday. 

 

What is your favourite part of the job?

One of the best parts of the job is teaching the classes and meeting older, like minded people! 

 

What is your favourite exercise? 

My favourite type of exercise is the cognitive games. It is always interesting to see how different people come up with different solutions to the problems I pose. In particular, I am a fan of a game that entails spinning a ring without thumbs and invites the participants to problem solve. Cognitive skill games, such as the ring one, are interactive and include a thinking element while still requiring movement . Another example of a cognitive skill game is when I have the class participants walk around the outside of their seats or sit in their chairs, depending on their ability level. I will say that they must raise their different hands in different combinations. However, instead of just saying “raise your right hand,”  I will say raise your right hand when I say “1” and raise both hands when I say “2” and so on. It’s a fun challenge for everyone!

 

Do you have a memorable story from your experience thus far at Siel Bleu? 

My most memorable experience here at Siel Bleu has to be witnessing Jennifer, our most recent “I Can” champion, go from seated exercises to doing 150 squats. It was great to watch her progress so positively. 

 

What are three words you would you to describe Siel Bleu?  

Fun, enjoyable, & unique!

 

What makes Siel Bleu Ireland the organisation that it is? 

No two classes are alike, every group brings something different, every trainer is excellent at what they do in their own unique ways, and I look forward to experiencing Siel Bleu when I’m older.