Friday, March 1, 2024

ATU Donegal hosts first-ever University Fitness Games

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The first-ever University Fitness Games, organised by Atlantic Technological University (ATU) in Donegal, proved to be a resounding success, drawing in nearly 110 participants.

They competed across various categories, showcasing their fitness and determination. The event, a unique initiative within the academic sector, aimed to engage individuals who are avid gym-goers and do not necessarily participate in traditional team sports.

The competition featured diverse categories, including the fittest male, fittest female, adapted athlete, male student, female student, male pairs, and female pairs.


Fittest Males: Ciaran Quinn, centre; Paul McGowan, left and Colum Monahan, right

Athletes were put to the test with a challenging set of workouts, and they had a tight 60-minute window to demonstrate their strength, endurance, and overall fitness.

Among the winners of each category were, Ciaran Quinn who won Fittest Male with an impressive time of 00:36:10. The Fittest Female was won by Karen Gallager with a time of 00:40:06.

The Top Female Student went to Grainne Pracht, from Swinford, Co Mayo, a student at ATU Sligo and Top Male Student went to Ruairi Crealy from currently studying at St Mary’s University, London.

In the Adaptive Athletes category, four competitors took part including inspirational speaker Nikki Bradley who came third. The overall winner in this category was Charlie McDaid with an impressive time of 00:22:50.

In the pairs section, Grace Smith and Joanne Hill came out on top in the Top Female Pairs and Adam Moore and Jason Daly winning the Top Male Pairs.

Nicola Dunnion, Head of the Department of Tourism and Sport at ATU Donegal, expressed her congratulations to Neil Barrett and the academic sports staff for organising such a unique event.

She said: “We are very proud of our strong sporting reputation here at ATU, and this event was yet another way of demonstrating our capability in this area. Thank you to everyone who volunteered on the day, and congratulations to all the participants. It was a fantastic spectacle.”


Fittest Females: Karen Gallagher, centre; Clodagh Skelly, left, and Grainne Pracht, right

Neil Barrett, Lecturer at ATU’s Faculty of Business Department of Tourism & Sport, thanked everyone who participated in the event. He said: “The first ever Atlantic Open, University Fitness Games at ATU was a huge success! The time and resources that went into planning and organising the event was worth it when you witness all participants being given the opportunity to showcase their fitness and all the hard work that goes into their training.

“A special word of thanks must go to all the volunteers who helped the event run so smoothly, without them the event simply would not have been possible. Watching people, of all ages and abilities competing side by side on the competition floor was the most rewarding for me. The atmosphere was electric and the support for every competitor was inspiring, it surpassed all my expectations, and we couldn’t be happier with how the day unfolded.”

The success of the University Fitness Games at Atlantic Technological University sets the stage for future editions, promising to become a highlight in the university’s sporting calendar.

Winners in Various Categories:

Fittest Males: Ciaran Quinn – 00:36:10; Paul McGowan – 00:38:02; Colum Monahan – 00:38:20
Fittest Females: Karen Gallagher – 00:40:06; Clodagh Skelly – 00:43:43; Grainne Pracht – 00:43:46

Top Male Students: Ruairi Crealey – 00:41:13 (St Mary’s, Twickenham); Dermot Corry – 00:45:11 (Southwest, Omagh); Ciaran Gleeson – 00:50:09 (ATU Galway-Mayo)

Top Female Students: Grainne Pracht – 00:43:46 (ATU Sligo); Anna McStay – 00:45:21 (Queen’s); Caroline White – 00:53:27 (ATU Donegal)

Adaptive Athletes: Charlie McDaid – 00:22:50l Brigid McGinley – 00:23:33; Nikki Bradley – 00:36:52; Mark Smith – 00:41:25

Top Male Pairs: Adam Moore and Jason Daly – 00:43:36; Mark Coyle and Partner – 00:46:03; Craig Wallace and Glenn McAuley – 00:47:18

Top Female Pairs: Grace Smith and Joanne Hall – 00:55:42; Cliona Moore and Sinead Mc Cormack – 00:56:38; Megan MacDonald and Nina O Neill – 00:57:34

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