26 years old Sive Brassil , a Ballinasloe native, is an elite athlete training in Modern Pentathlon, a multi-discipline sport that involves running, swimming, show jumping, fencing and shooting, she holds ambitions to compete at next summers rescheduled Olympic games taking place in Tokyo. “It would be a dream to represent Ireland should I qualify”.
Growing up in Mount Pleasant Avenue, her home, where she was able to see and hear the showgrounds, ignited her passion for sports. Sive attended Scoil Uí Cheithearnaigh where she was continuously supported in her sports.
Being the youngest of five Sive followed in her sibling's footsteps becoming a member of East Galway Hunt Pony club, Swimming Club and Athletics Club at age 7 when she was old enough to join after watching her siblings in all these clubs as she grew up. She added fencing and shooting by the time she was 12 years old to complete the Pentathlon.
As a teenager, Sive attended Our Lady’s Bower School for Girls where she continued with her sports. Falling in love with the sports Sive states: “I have so many fond memories of all of these clubs, and the positive experiences I have had here in town are what made me want to continue with the sport and become a full-time athlete.
The town’s Olympic hopeful has many supporters and key sporting influencers from growing up such as learning to ride under the mentorship of Liz Scott in East Galway Pony Club. The Athletes love for running began in the Ballinasloe and District Athletics Club, nurtured under the coaching of Michael and Anne Burke. Sive enjoyed many years in Coral Leisure swimming pool with the Ballinasloe Swimming Club too with a few great coaches, including John Jordan and Gerry Downey.
“Without a doubt, my parents have always been and still are my biggest supporters. I’d be lost without them and they’ve always encouraged me to do what I love. Ballinasloe is where I found my passion for sport and so many people have helped me along the way,” states Sive.
Sive was chosen along with 24 other athletes to take part in the Olympic Federation of Ireland’s ‘Dare to Believe’ schools programme. Through this programme, she was able to revisit her old primary school Scoil Ui Cheirthearnaigh after the school applied for a curriculum based on the Olympic values.
She officially visited 2019 where she was able to reconnect with her old teachers and pupils. She spoke to the kids about their “Olympic sized dreams” and was able to teach the students all about goal setting. At the school, they were able to showcase some of the sports that Sive trains in.
Sive said: “It was such a pleasure to return to Scoil Uí Cheithearnaigh and meet some of the staff that were there when I was a student. I got to say hello to my old teachers and meet some of the newer ones who were students with me when I was in school! It was so fun to talk to the kids too, they were all full of great ideas and big dreams which was exciting to see!”
In the first lockdown back in March, the athlete's Olympic progress was halted. With everything put into disarray, Sive was unable to train using her usual facilities. But she never lost her winning mentality knowing from early on that the Olympics would never be cancelled just postponed and that gave her the motivation to push herself every day in hopes of achieving her goal. The athlete continued to go for runs and she practised her shooting and fencing drills in her garden. It was a tough time but having pulled through Sive has been more fortunate in recent lockdowns with elite athletes permitted to continue with their training.
“I’m fortunate that training for elite athletes who are preparing for the Olympics has been allowed to continue. So, I’m still able to use the pool and track and I can do sessions with my fencing coach and riding coach too. So, I’m very lucky to be able to continue my training!”, enthuses a relieved Sive.
Sive empathises with the youth today who are having trouble with their goals and are struggling during Covid-19: “It’s a difficult time for everyone at the moment but I’d encourage people to keep busy if they can. It’s also important to get out and exercise if you can too, it’s a great way to clear your head and stay healthy during the lockdown. I would encourage young people to find what they love and work hard at it. It’s easier to dedicate yourself and work hard at something if you’re passionate about it. I’d also advise young people with big dreams not to get too caught up in the result, but to enjoy the journey”, she encourages.
Sive Brassil is looking forward to the summer of 2021 and continues to train very hard every day - “I just want to be able to build throughout the season, get stronger, and peak for Tokyo. That would be my dream season, ” she explains.
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