Irish selection for Ryan Reilly
Ulster University graduate Ryan Reilly to represent Ireland at the World University Cycling Championship Road Race.
Physiotherapy graduate Ryan shall travel to Braga, Portugal this week to compete in the World University Cycling Championship Road Race on August 4th. He joins Craig Rea (QUB), Jamie Blanchfield (WIT), Mark O’Callaghan & Darragh O’Mahony (both UL).
Ryan races for Team CC Nogent-sur-Oise and during his final year of study divided his time between France and Belfast. We managed to steal some of Ryan’s time to ask him as few questions before he departs for Portugal.
- Ryan, you compete at a very high level in your sport, are based in France, and undertook a degree in physiotherapy on Jordanstown campus; how did you manage your time so as to ensure success in all? Have you any top tips for new students who are balancing their sport and studies?
Managing training and studying was by far the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. I would say the most important thing for me was having a good coach that respected the importance of my education and was able to manage my training load in relation to the workload I had in uni. I definitely think both my grades and my performance were negatively affected by trying to balance the two, but for any student athlete I think that’s something you have to accept, and ultimately having a university education gives you so much more security and opportunity in life, so I think it was worth the potential impact on my sporting career.
As for a top tip to any aspiring student athlete I would say if you’re willing to work hard and make sacrifices, you can leave university with a unique ability to manage a lot of stress and be extremely good at time management, both of those skills can make life after education or sport so much easier.
- You’re one of 5 students representing Ireland in the World University Championships for Road Racing, can you tell us a bit about the event; what are the tactics of road racing; what does it entail?
Ultimately every road race has its own set of challenges and obstacles so each race will demand unique tactics; for this race in Portugal the terrain is very hard with a number of climbs over 5km long, but I think the biggest factor will be the weather this weekend with temperatures expected to exceed 40degrees – nutrition and hydration management will be instrumental.
- Now that you have graduated from physiotherapy, what are your aspirations for the future in terms of your sport and your career?
I’ve been asked this question a lot by strangers, friends and family. The honest answer is I don’t know yet. I’m enjoying just training and racing at the minute without thinking too much about my future, but I’ll spend some time thinking about what direction I want to go once the racing finishes for the year.