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HomeAthleticsIrish Olympic athlete Louise Shanahan laments the "little funding" Olympians get, hails...

Irish Olympic athlete Louise Shanahan laments the “little funding” Olympians get, hails €30,000 financial aid

Irish Olympic Athlete Louise Shanahan recently shed light on the struggles to make the ends meet being a full-time student as well as a full-time athlete. Though she has coped up with it very well, she wants things to pan out more comfortably. Louise Shanahan is one of the 22 young Irish athletes to get benefitted from the first tranche of funding made available via The Jerry Kiernan Foundation. It was set up late last year to honor the passion and insight that Kiernan, who died in January 2021, always brought to the sport, the fund of €30,000, to begin with.

Funds of €30,000 disbursed for the athletes including Louise Shanahan 

louise shanahan

The main motive of the financial assistance is to ease the needs of the young athlete – between the track, field, cross-country and race-walking. Louise Shanahan is on a brief visit to Dublin from her current residence at Cambridge University, where she’s a full-time PhD researcher in quantum physics, due for completion around December 2023.

“I’m lucky to be able to do the sport I love, and some level of funding like this is massive,” Louise Shanahan says. “Unless you’re at the very top of the sport, you likely won’t even have a kit contract, or any major funding.”

“The general public has no idea how little funding some of the Olympic athletes are getting,” Louise Shanahan says. “When people think of Irish athletes, they often think of the few that are sponsored, but there’s a subset below who are trying to be elite but without the funding.”

“It’ll make a big difference for that sub-elite group,” says Louise Shanahan.Athletics Ireland try to do as much as possible, but the money from this could be the difference between an athlete being able to afford to go on a camp at Easter, and that structured training would really help them in the summer, or it might be the difference between changing your shoes every six months instead of every year, which could make the difference with injury.”

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Louise Shanahan has won Irish titles over 800m and 1500m, indoors and out (neatly completing a unique family double, her father Ray Shanahan also winning indoor 1,500m titles in the colours of Leevale AC in Cork).  Heading down the stretch of Olympic qualification last year, she was just outside the World Athletics quota cut-off for the women’s 800m.

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