Bouncing back from adversity: Athlete who lost his sight to speak at Limerick GAA club

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

Email:

donal.oregan@limerickleader.ie

Inspirational man and speaker: Peter Ryan

Inspirational man and speaker: Peter Ryan

DOON GAA Club is eager to promote positive mental and physical health for all who live in the parish.

They welcomed football legend and reformed gambler Oisin McConville last year and they begin 2018 with another talk from an inspirational man.

Every Monday night the Operation Transformation walks are a huge success and on Thursday, February 15 at 7.30pm they welcome Peter Ryan.

Peter is a young man on a mission to show other people with disabilities how to bounce back from adversity. Through his work as a blind Paralympic cyclist he speaks to diverse audiences about his journey from local hero to despair and back again. 

Peter was a promising Tipperary hurler when he suddenly went blind and thought he had lost everything. After a rough period he got up on the back of a bike and strived towards world domination, culminating in winning a place at the Paralympic Games in Rio in record time.

Peter is currently training and competing to do even better at the Tokyo games and works with a number of organisations to encourage youths in their endeavours and help them find a path back from the more challenging aspects of modern life. He is also an accomplished public speaker for some of the worlds’ leading business and philanthropic organisations on overcoming seemingly insurmountable adversity.

The club are looking forward to hear Peter share his story on Thursday, February 15.

Meanwhile, there is still time to get walking every Monday night. Doon GAA club has signed up with Operation Transformation and Ireland Lights Up with the GAA. Every Monday night for six weeks the club switch on the flood lights in the pitch from 7pm to 9pm. 

On week one, 103 people signed in at the club house and used the walk track which surrounds the GAA facility. On week 2 there were 141 people in attendance and this week, the third Monday night, 112 people came out. This was amazing given the heavy showers of snow that fell on Monday night.

There are three more weeks remaining and hopefully people will continue to come along.

The atmosphere each Monday night has been great and it has been lovely to see young and old, and people of all physical abilities out enjoying the exercise, meeting people and using the great facilities available in the parish. The GAA are grateful to the volunteers who attend in the club house every Monday night to meet people and take their names to record the numbers attending.

Health promotion material is available in the club house for people to take away each week.