Sean O’Brien helped the British & Irish Lions secure an elusive Series win in Australia last month. Shortly after his return home to Ireland, he spent an evening with some very excited HSE Community Games children from Carlow. Local Games PRO Noreen Hynes takes up the story.
Carlow rugby hero Sean O’Brien, fresh from his maiden Lions tour, paid a visit to some HSE Community Games children in picturesque Ardattin, Carlow recently.
Sean engaged both the children and their parents by reminiscing and emphasising how important HSE Community Games was to him as a young boy.
Sean was eight-years-old when he first participated in the local Community Games in his area of Ballon/Rathoe. It was in Community Games, Sean was first introduced to rugby – he played for his area in the county semi-final against Tullow which unfortunately they lost. The following year he joined Tullow Rugby Club and the rest, as they say, is history.
Sean told the many children present how in fact he was a great 100 metres runner and he competed in Ardattin for many years at this event. He is very proud of the fact in the current Irish rugby squad, he would be in the top three for speed at this distance!
The Leinster and Ireland back rower told the children how he made many lifelong friends, knew more about his community and tried other sports he would never have had the opportunity to participate in all through the HSE Community Games.
Sean spent over an hour chatting to children and their parents, answering all types of questions. We found out that Sean loves Gaelic football and horse riding, he is a massive Manchester United fan with Ryan Giggs as a hero, and Brian O’Driscoll is one of his legends and role models.
The kids got advice regarding diet and the importance of being disciplined from the 26-year-old who is a sporting legend to many.
Sean is very proud to be associated with the Community Games and he proudly watches other Carlow Community Games athletes who are making an impact internationally and nationally such as Marcus Lawlor, Siobhra O’Flaherty and Lauren Dwyer to name but a few.
To say we at Carlow Community Games are extremely proud of this young star would be a massive understatement. It is so refreshing to see a hero in his prime so grounded and proud of his roots.
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