Limerick native Tiarnán O' Donnell has been playing Wheelchair Basketball since he was 15.

The Mechanical Engineering Student has added a few strings to his bow since those early days including Captaining the Irish u23 Wheelchair Basketball team to the medal podium in Finland.

Irish Wheelchair Association Sport’s Communications Officer Ciaran O’Regan spoke with Tiarnán about his career and much more. 

Tell us a little about yourself, Tiarnán.

I’m a currently a Mechanical Engineering Student in the University of Limerick. I’m working in Boston Scientific Galway as a R&D Engineer as part of my Co-Op. I started my basketball career at the age of 15 and have never looked back. It has allowed me to travel to countries I never thought I would see.

I’m 23 now and play with Limerick Celtics. I’m a class 4.0 as a result of my right leg amputation. 

A lot of what you’ve achieved is in Basketball. Is that your favourite sport?

Basketball… Of course!

How have you found the past year and a half trying to keep fit?

I was very fortunate to be on a sports scholarship in the University of Limerick and as a result, I was deemed an elite athlete and was able to continue my training throughout the pandemic so it didn’t change my routine too much.

What do you enjoy about training/competitions?

The social aspect of training and competition is what I enjoy the match. Training with the same players every week means you build great friendships with one another. I’ve also met friends for life at competitions and training camps overseas.

What do you enjoy about your club?

The group I play with. My coach has amazing experience, being the only Irish player to play in a professional league, he has improved my game immeasurably since he came back to Ireland. We’ve had a solid few players for the last 7/8 years that I’ve grown very close with and it makes taking the court so much better when you know they have your back!

What are some of your acheievments over the years?

Captaining the Irish U23 team to a Bronze medal in a competition in Finland. Travelling to several European Championships with the Irish Senior team and getting an EPYG all-star Young player of the year 2020/2021 award.

Where do you hope to be in five years?

In five years, hopefully playing professionally in Europe somewhere with a degree under my belt! 

What advice would you have for younger athletes?

Enjoy the sport! If you love playing the sport, you will improve naturally as a bi-product of you enjoying yourself! 

Thanks to Tiarnán for taking the time to talk to us, and best of luck with the year ahead.