On Track through the Holidays: Sarah Quinn’s Training Insights

In the world of athletics, where discipline and dedication are paramount, Irish Sprint Hurdler Sarah Quinn stands out not just for her remarkable speed but for her ability to maintain peak performance even during the festive season.

As a celebrated brand ambassador if Intersport Elverys and a beacon of inspiration, Sarah’s approach to training, particularly during the challenging Christmas period, offers invaluable insights for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. I

n this exclusive interview, Sarah opens up about her training regimen, her sources of motivation, and how she balances intense workouts with the joys of the holiday season.

Whether you’re a budding athlete or a seasoned pro, Sarah’s reflections are bound to inspire and guide you in your fitness journey.

Irish Sprint Hurdler Sarah Quinn Interview

Q: How does your training look at Christmas?

A: During the Christmas period, the same work needs to get done despite the extra celebrations. It’s all about nailing sleep, nutrition, and hydration. We re-jig our days around the festivities. Christmas Day is usually our rest day, and we structure the rest of the week to hit the big sessions and recover well.

Q: What motivates you during Christmas?

A: What motivates me during Christmas is the same as throughout the year: knowing that the hard work is up to me. With indoor competitions around the corner, there’s excitement to get back on track. But the biggest motivation is the understanding that no one else can do the work for me.

Q: What is the biggest challenge you face over the Christmas Period?

A: The biggest challenge is fitting everything in. With friends home for Christmas and family time, I prioritise activities that fit around my training schedule. Anything extra is a bonus. It’s about going with the flow and adjusting to the recovery needs.

Q: What is your main source of motivation?

A: My main source of inspiration is our training group. We have a diverse group of talented athletes from different backgrounds and disciplines, including master athletes. They all inspire me in their unique ways, reminding me that you are who you spend your time with.

Q: What is your training like in January?

A: In the New Year, our routine doesn’t change much, but it becomes more specific to competitions. We taper our training during weeks with competitions. It’s about adapting to the flow, depending on whether we’re competing or not.

Q: Any advice for getting back into training in January?

A: If you’re just getting back into it after a break, start small. Pick achievable goals and build momentum. January is a great time to start a new training diary. Writing down your training and feedback is motivational and helps track progress.

Q: What’s the best sporting gift you’ve ever received?

A: The best sporting gift I ever received was my first pair of track and field spikes, given by my granny when I started with a club. They hold sentimental value and remind me of where my journey began.

Sarah Quinn’s journey is a testament to the power of self-motivation, disciplined training, and the importance of a supportive community.

Her approach to balancing the demands of high-level athletics with the warmth of the festive season is a lesson in perseverance and joy.

As Sarah continues to hurdle over challenges on and off the track, she leaves behind a trail of inspiration for us all to follow.

Katie O’Brien on Rowing Training Over Christmas

As we embrace the festive season, it’s inspiring to see athletes like Katie O’Brien, a world champion para-rower and Intersport Elverys brand ambassador, maintain their training schedules.

In this exclusive interview, Katie sits down with us shares her experience and tips on balancing rigorous training with festive celebrations.

You don’t want to miss it!

Plus, you’ll be happy to hear that Katie takes her training serious, but also her downtime!

katie o brien rowing training

Q: Katie, could you introduce yourself and share your most memorable sporting achievement?

A: Hello, my name is Katie O’Brien, a para rower, and an Intersport Elverys brand ambassador. Just this summer, I gained qualification to the Para-Olympic Games in France in 2024

My most memorable achievement was becoming the world champion in 2022. Receiving my medal and spotting my best friend in the crowd was a moment I’ll never forget. I didnt know she was going to be there, so that was a moment I will never forget. 

Q: How do you manage your training routine over the Christmas period?

A: Over Christmas, my routine stays the same, except for Christmas Day. I train 2 or 3 times a day, combining water sessions, rowing machine workouts, and gym workouts. We do get one day off, which is usually Christmas Day, however, I usually train on Christmas Day so I can fully enjoy St. Stephen’s Day instead and be nicely relaxed with my family then.

Q: What’s the biggest difference in your training during the Christmas period?

A: The major difference is training alone at home, instead of the group environment at the National Rowing Centre. It’s more mentally challenging, but it’s a good time to be with family. Training in a big group environment is much easier, because you are egging each other on, rather than being along in my sitting room trying to make the session as intense as possible. 

It’s more mentally challening than physically challenging for sure. There are 27 of us training everyday together in the National Rowing Centre in Cork so that is a lot different to a rower in my sitting room!

Q: How do you balance training with holiday celebrations?

A: I prefer to finish my training early in the day. This way, I can relax and enjoy the rest of the day with my family without worrying about training. There is nothing worse than leaving a session until the evening time and being worried about getting it done, so it’s about ticking the box early and then enjoying the rest of the day.

Q: What’s your approach to diet during this festive season?

A: I don’t restrict myself too much. I eat what I like but remain conscious of maintaining a balanced diet. It’s important to enjoy the festive treats, so anything that’s nice and around me I will eat it! I am specifically looking forward to a post-Christmas Day sandwich, a lot of chocolate and I also love the Christmas pudding witjh brandy, butter cream and custard!

Q: What advice do you have for athletes to stay consistent in their training over Christmas?

A: My advice is to stay consistent and not fall off the wagon. Even if the sessions aren’t perfect, keeping up with the training is crucial. Remember, hard work always pays off. Allocate specific times for training and having fun. It’s essential to balance both well. Be conscious about your schedule and enjoy both training and celebrations.

Just keep chipping away every single day, whetherit’s only 10 or 20 minutes, it all adds up in the long run, but the key is to not totally fall off the wagon, even if your sessions aren’t going well, consistency pays off.

My advice for people just starting out this Christmas or New Year is to take it slowly and build it up. You don’t want to go full hog straight away or you’ll end up broken or injured. Nice and steady incremental gains are what you should aim for.

Q: Who or what inspires you the most in your training?

A: I draw most of my inspiration from my teammates at the National Rowing Centre. Training alongside athletes with world championship and Olympic medals is incredibly inspiring. It’s hard not to be inspired by those people when you’re training with them everyday. They are my biggest inspiration.

Q: What are your training plans for the New Year?

A: We’re starting the New Year with a training camp in Italy. I am heading for two weeks with the rest of the Para team so hopefully we will get in some really good water sessions 

Q: Finally, what’s the best sporting gift you’ve ever received?

A: The best sporting gift I’ve ever received was a basketball hoop one Christmas.  We spent many hours playing outside with this and I think a lot of families probably had one and they can resonate with this. Definitely the best sporting gift I’ve ever got. 

As Katie O’Brien illustrates, balancing training with holiday festivities is about discipline, consistency, and enjoying the moment.

Her insights offer valuable lessons for anyone looking to stay active during the festive season.

Explore Intersport Elverys for gear that supports your training journey, inspired by champions like Katie.

3 Ways Athletes Can Reduce Their Carbon Footprint

We’re all looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint, but a lot of us don’t know how to go about simple ways of doing this.

Those of us who love and are involved in sports, have a bigger opportunity and more ways than most to do this too!

Reducing our carbon footprint is not just a global challenge, it trickles down to each person on earth and the small changes we can make in our day-to-day lives.

This blog will delve into some simple, impactful steps we can all do to teach us how to reduce our carbon footprint.

And look, we know that these aren’t always practical.

We’re not saying they are.

But the key to having an impact is making incremental changes here and there when the opportunity is afforded to you.

ways to reduce carbon footprint

Eco-Friendlier Travel for Athletes

Travelling to cometitions and training

Travel is a major aspect of an athlete’s lifestyle, but it also has a significant impact on carbon emissions.

Choosing environmentally-friendly travel options, like taking trains instead of planes for long-distance trips or carpooling to local events, can have a significant impact on reducing our carbon footprint.

In addition, opting for accommodations and travel providers that prioritise sustainability can have a significant impact.

If you’re living in the city, why not walk or cycle to the gym next time you’re going?

Encouraging carpooling and promoting the use of public transport

When it comes to local training sessions or competitions, it’s worth considering carpooling with fellow athletes or making use of public transport.

By reducing emissions, it not only contributes to a cleaner environment but also promotes a strong sense of community and teamwork, which are essential in the sports industry.

ways to reduce carbon footprint

The Transportation Sustainability Research Centre highlights that carpooling has a positive impact on society by reducing the number of vehicles required by travellers.

These measures encompass decreased energy consumption and emissions, alleviating congestion, and reducing the need for parking infrastructure. By encouraging carpooling and reducing the number of vehicles on the road, we can significantly decrease the total emissions produced.

Selecting Environmentally-Friendly Sports Gear

Our clothes carry a meaningful story that leaves a lasting impact on our planet.

Through the selection of eco-friendly equipment and apparel, we actively contribute to reducing the demand for new resources and promoting the reuse of materials.

There is a growing availability of brands that prioritise eco-friendly manufacturing processes, which allows athletes to easily make responsible choices, and we partner with the biggest in the world.

Check out the critera that make your products IMPACT CHOICE right here.

Or if you’d like to browse our full range of IMPACT products, click HERE.

Sustainable Clothes Christmas

The Journey of Sports Products

Our commitment to sustainability extends beyond the lifespan of our sports gear.

By implementing effective maintenance practices, we can significantly prolong the lifespan of our equipment too.

Additionally, when the time comes to replace it, we prioritise donating or recycling the old gear to prevent it from ending up in landfills.

This commitment to a circular economy aligns with our values in the sports retail industry.

We have a great resource for Product Repair in this blog, which has guides on fixing almost everything!

Training Facilities with a Focus on Energy Efficiency

Environmentally-Friendly Fitness Facilities and Outdoor Workouts
Engaging in outdoor activities not only decreases the need for energy-intensive indoor facilities, but also fosters a deep connection between athletes and the natural environment, resulting in an enhanced training experience.

So, instead of doing your running on a treadmill this week, why not get out and about in nature and do it there?

You will feel great both mentally and physically afterwards.

A trail run is always an amazing experience.

Utilising Solar Energy for Sporting Facilities

The future of sports infrastructure is being shaped by innovations such as solar-powered stadiums and training facilities.

These environmentally conscious alternatives not only help to decrease carbon emissions but also establish a model for sustainable practices within the sports industry.

The Aviva Stadium is a remarkable testament to sustainable engineering, with a strong emphasis on harnessing solar power.

The stadium features a solar-panel-covered canopy that serves a dual purpose – providing shade for fans and generating renewable energy. This initiative is a reflection of the growing movement within sports venues to embrace sustainable technologies and minimise their ecological footprint.

Utilising solar power in these expansive facilities not only cuts down on energy expenses, but also enhances sustainability ratings, lessens ecological footprint, and has the potential to generate additional income by selling surplus energy to the grid.

As proud and official Retail Partners of the FAI, we’re are delighted to work alongside Irish Football to help reduce our impact on the planet.

Intersport Elverys’ Commitment to Sustainability

Intersport Elverys is not only promoting a sustainable way of living and taking part in sport, we are also actively engaging in it.

Through various initiatives, we hope to be continually reducing our IMPACT on the environment until we become fully circular in our business.

Check out our efforts are our award-winning Distribution Centre in Castlear.


As athletes and sports enthusiasts, our journey aligns with the larger goal of protecting the environment.

By embracing eco-friendly travel, selecting sustainable sports equipment, and supporting green training facilities, we all play a part in creating a healthier planet.

Embracing the Future: Circular Economy in Ireland’s Sport Retail

In today’s Ireland, sustainability and the idea of a circular economy plays a crucial role in influencing our decisions.

That goes beyond being a trendy term and instead represents a necessary change in our perspective on consumption and the use of resources.

This approach, with a focus on the reuse and recycling of materials, is transforming industries on a global scale, including the ever-evolving world of sports retail.

In Ireland, the circular economy is gaining traction, reshaping our connection with the products we value and utilise.

Intersport Elverys is proud to be leading the way in sustainable practices.

This approach is not merely a component of our business model; it is ingrained in our values, showcasing a profound recognition that the well-being of our planet is intimately connected to the well-being of individuals and their athletic pursuits.

In this blog, we’ll explore the fascinating world of the circular economy, its significance in Ireland, and how it intersects with the realm of sports retail.

back to school activities for kids

Understanding the Circular Economy

What is the circular economy

Picture a future where all our resources are repurposed, recycled, or reused, resulting in a minimal impact on the environment.

This exemplifies the circular economy, a more sustainable alternative to the conventional ‘take-make-waste’ approach.

In the world of sustainable practices, resources are utilised to their fullest potential, ensuring that their value is maximised during their lifespan.

Additionally, products and materials are carefully recovered and regenerated at the end of their life cycle.

It’s similar to a relay race where the baton is not discarded after the race, but rather passed on for continued use.

The Circular Economy versus the Traditional Linear Economy

The linear economy, which is the conventional approach to production and consumption, follows a ‘use and dispose’ principle.

It feels like a sprint race: rapid, intense, and concluded swiftly with little consideration for the aftermath.

On the contrary, the circular economy resembles a marathon, emphasising endurance and sustainability.

circular economy IrelandIt highlights the importance of minimising waste, utilising resources efficiently, and promoting recycling to create a sustainable cycle that benefits both the environment and the economy.

This transition is not only crucial for the environment, but it also presents a promising economic prospect, encouraging creativity and establishing fresh approaches to business.

Circular Economy in Ireland

Ireland’s Journey Towards Sustainability

Ireland is wholeheartedly embracing the concept of the circular economy.

There is a strong commitment from the Irish government and various industries to integrate sustainable practices into their operations.

Ireland is making significant strides towards becoming a frontrunner in sustainability, with a range of initiatives at both national and local levels.

This journey is characterised by significant achievements, including policy reforms, investments in green technologies, and public awareness campaigns.

Just look at Intersport Elverys delivery partner and Ireland’s state postal service, An Post, and their sustainability strategy.

Impact on Irish businesses and consumers

The Irish business landscape is being reshaped by the shift towards a circular economy.

Businesses are increasingly embracing environmentally friendly practices, not only to meet regulations, but also as a fundamental aspect of their company values.

This shift is also impacting consumer behaviour, as more and more people are showing a preference for products and services that are environmentally friendly, like our Impact range.

Today, more and more individuals are becoming conscious of their ecological footprint and are actively selecting options that reflect their commitment to sustainability.

Embracing this changing perspective is essential for propelling Ireland towards a more sustainable, circular economy.

Benefits of a Circular Economy for Athletes and Sports lovers in Ireland

Improving Performance and Protecting the Planet

Embracing the circular economy presents a mutually beneficial opportunity for athletes and sports enthusiasts alike.

It allows for the creation of products that not only enhance performance but also prioritise environmental sustainability.

Sports equipment that prioritises sustainability is crafted to be environmentally friendly while still delivering top-notch performance.

Take running shoes made from recycled materials, for instance. They can provide an equal level of support and durability compared to conventional options.

This innovative solution allows athletes to make environmentally conscious choices without compromising on quality or performance, like this study will show.

Promoting Environmentally-Friendly Options

Embracing sustainable sports products also empowers athletes and enthusiasts to become passionate advocates for the environment.

By opting for gear made from recycled or sustainable materials, individuals can make a positive impact on waste reduction and pollution prevention.

In addition, by endorsing brands that prioritise sustainability, we can inspire broader change within the industry, motivating other companies to embrace eco-friendly practices.

This innovative solution allows athletes to make environmentally conscious choices without compromising on quality or performance, like this study will show.

The Role of Sports Retail in the Circular Economy

Production to Process

At the core of the circular economy lies a forward-thinking approach to producing and selling sports products.

The sustainable transformation is greatly influenced by the sports retail industry.

Through the implementation of circular practices, waste and energy consumption can be significantly reduced in the production phase of sports retail.

We prioritise the use of sustainable materials, employ energy-efficient manufacturing processes, and create products with a longer lifespan.

Retailers can also inspire consumers to join the sustainable movement by providing services such as gear recycling and selling refurbished equipment.

This way sports products can be kept in use for a longer time, reducing waste in landfills.

circular economy Ireland

Embracing Sustainability in the Sports Retail Industry

The shift towards sustainability in the sports retail sector goes beyond simply minimising environmental harm; it involves establishing groundbreaking benchmarks within the industry.

Our focus is on developing products that not only cater to athletes’ performance requirements but also adhere to environmental principles.

There is a growing trend in the sports industry towards the use of eco-friendly materials, including biodegradable fabrics and recycled plastics, in sports equipment and apparel.

Companies in the retail industry are actively seeking out new and creative ways to address sustainability concerns.

One approach being explored is the use of modular designs, which enable products to be easily repaired or repurposed.

These practices not only help create a healthier planet but also appeal to a new generation of consumers who are environmentally conscious.

Intersport Elverys Dedication to Sustainability

Intersport Elverys is committed to being fully circular in every aspect of our business by 2050.

We plan on doing this by aligning our goals with the Intersport Sustainability Strategy and we have made serious progress so far.

Recently, we are awarded the Intersport Impact Leadership Award for our efforts at our HQ in Castlebar.

Along with our key strategic brands, there is now a clear vision for the future, aiming to broaden our selection of Impact products, and persist in enlightening customers about the advantages of sustainable sports merchandise.

circular economy ireland

Ways for Consumers to Engage in Circular Economy

Practical Steps Towards a More Sustainable Future

Consumers are essential in propelling the circular economy movement.

Small steps can have a big impact: selecting products with minimal packaging, buying pre-owned sports equipment, or supporting brands that prioritise sustainability.

In addition, taking part in recycling programmes or contributing used sports gear can play a role in keeping these items in use and preventing them from ending up in landfills.

These are all really good ways to help reduce our carbon footprint.

Championing a Shift Towards Sustainability

Consumers have the power to drive change and promote sustainability within the sports industry.

One way to achieve this is by advocating for policy changes that promote circular economy practices.

Another approach is to actively participate in community initiatives that promote sustainability.

Additionally, sparking discussions about sustainability in sports forums and social media can also make a significant impact.

Through increased awareness and consumer advocacy, industry trends can be influenced to create a more sustainable future for sports retail.


By embracing the circular economy, our focus goes beyond sustainable products – we are actively investing in a future that is built on sustainability.

Let’s continue to embrace an eco-friendly mindset as we run, jump, and play, knowing that each step we take contributes to a greener and more sustainable Ireland.

Keep making an IMPACT.

circular economy Ireland