Coaching degree & sports science support to help propel young cyclist to podium – Michael O’Loughlin faces a new challenge as he starts his sports coaching degree at WIT
Last month, Michael O’Loughlin exceeded all expectations at the Junior Men’s Road Race at the UCI Road World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain. In his debut year as a junior, the Carrick-on-Suir teenager finished 8th and 44th in the time trial and road race events respectively.
This month, Michael is back home facing a new challenge, as he takes his place on the BSc (Hons) in Sports Coaching and Performance in the Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Science at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT).
According to Michael Harrison, Head of the Department, “Michael’s chosen degree combines the disciplines of sports science & coach education and is an excellent fit for an aspiring athlete or coach.”
The Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Science has a good track record working with high performance cyclists. Sam Bennett, a full time professional cyclist with Net-App Endura as well as promising U23 rider Sean Hahessy, are both students who continue to receive sport science support from the Human Performance Laboratory within the department.
Dr Harrison continues, “As a student athlete, Michael and his coaches will also benefit from this support, which will hopefully help him continue to progress through cycling’s ranks and fulfil his own ambitions as an athlete.”
Michael’s recent success will be no great surprise to those familiar with him. Racing since the age of 10, Michael has won multiple national titles at underage level and recently progressed through the Cycling Ireland Talent 2020 programme which aims to nurture and develop talented young Irish riders.
Neill Delahaye, National Performance Coach with Cycling Ireland, says Michael is one of Ireland’s most promising young riders. “To break the top 10 at the World Championships against all the best riders in the world is a huge achievement and indicates Michael has the ability to aim for the Podium next year. Michael is a rider who we as a Federation aim to support in the coming years as we help develop his ambition to become a World Class Elite athlete”.