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CHASING MY OLYMPIC DREAM

CAOIMHE O'FERRALL

  • 74.71% funded
  • € 2,615.00 pledged
  • Days Left

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I am a  Junior C1  athlete living in County Meath in Ireland. I train up to  18 times a week ( on the water, running and gym work) along with attending school each day.

I am 17 years old and I am the top C1 W athlete in Ireland at both Junior/U23 and Senior level. I need your help to raise funds to support me financially to race internationally this year and my long terms GOAL to achieve selections for the Olympics in 2020 .

      COME WITH ME ON THIS GREAT ADVENTURE. BE BY MY SIDE WHEN IT HAPPENS. WE CAN SHARE IT TOGETHER

I have been canoeing since I was very young , along with my brothers and my Mom. I started canoeing on the canal in Kilcock, Co Kildare at Kilock Canoe Polo Club (KCPC).

There under the guidance from my Mom, who was my coach in the early days, and then Patricia McCormack and her sons Mark and Ciaran, I grew to love the sport .

As I grew older I ran rivers here in Ireland, the Boyne and the Liffey. But my passion for canoe slalom started when I was about 13 years old. My home club is Wild Water Kayak Club in Chapelizod in Strawberry Beds.  I love the challenge of C1 canoeing, it is probably the most difficult discipline of canoe slalom as you sit in the canoe , on your legs and you only have one blade on your paddle.

In my early years of C1 canoe slalom, I have been incredibly lucky to have been coached by Olympian Hannah Craig and Olympian Coach Han Bijnen when I was in the Junior Development programme (2011- 2012) . As well as these I have been coached by Ciaran Heurteau, Robin Knivers and Mark Coleman.

In my transition year after my Junior Certificate , in  2013 , I moved with my brother , Tadhg who took a year out from University ,  to Nottingham in the UK, to train full time at HPP Whitewater course. It was  a big decision and it was difficult to be away from my family when  I was only 15 at the time. But I so wanted to improve at C1, there was no one to coach me here in Ireland and there was no whitewater course here either. I am so grateful to my parents for supporting me during that time and my brother Tadhg who looked after me in Nottingham. Go big brother go.

There I was coached by some of the  top UK international athletes and coaches , Dan Goddard ,  Huw Swetnam and Andrew Hadfield. During the spring of 2014, I spent one month in La Seu d’Urgell training at Parc Olympic Whitewater course where I was coached by Spanish Coach Ekhi Diez .

In September 2014, I started to be coached by Marc Jegou full time and at the British Open in Lee Valley Olympic Course in November , I finished in 7th place overall. This was a fantastic end to my season of racing in 2014 .

My training partner is my older brother Tadhg who paddles K1 and  who supports me on those tough training sessions on and off the water. My other brother Cillian is my training partner in the gym.

Any opportunity I get , I travel during my school holidays, long weekends and summer holidays overseas to train on whitewater to improve my technical performance on whitewater. If you don’t train , you will not improve.  Success in canoe slalom requires a combination of several skills – strength, strength endurance, the ability to read and then know how to utilise water flow.

My long term goal is to get selected to represent Ireland at the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020. Along the way , I intend to perform at my best and make finals in Junior races this year and in Senior races over the coming years.

I was selected to race for Ireland in the Junior World Championships in Brazil this April 2015 but unfortunately I do not have the funding to travel to the championships. This was difficult for me not being able to race at the Junior worlds but I had to make a decision as to whether I would race at the worlds or race for the summer season in Europe. So I opted to try and race for the summer season instead.

I have also been selected for the Junior European Championships in Krakow in August this year and the ECA Cup Races (10 off) across Europe. Along with this I have been selected to race in C1 Women  senior races ( European Championships , 5 World Cup Races and the World Championships ( Olympic Selections for 2016).

I do not receive any funding from the national governing body of sport (Canoeing Ireland) , the Irish Sports Council or  support from the Institute of Sport . It is a challenge for any young athlete to improve if they do not have the financial support from their sports bodies.

My parents have always  financially supported me and specifically  for the past 2 years when I committed to becoming a high performance athlete.

In 2014, I  was very  lucky to obtain  some sponsorship from  businesses locally- and in Dublin- McGarrell Reilly Group, IBStock Bricks and  GALASPORT (Slalom Boats and paddles)  and SANDILINE (Buoyancy Aid and Cagdecks) .

WHO ARE MY TEAM ON THIS JOURNEY:

The Team of experts who are supporting me with my “Goal” are my parents, my brothers and little sister , my C1 Coach, my Sports Physiotherapist and  Sports Coach .

CI Coach is Mr Marc Jegou ,France :

My Sports  Coach  is  Jonathan Males , Performance1 ,UK:

My Sports Physiotherapist  is David Campbell . Hartmann International Sports Injury Clinic , UL Limerick.

The final ingredient in ORDER TO ACHIEVE my GOAL now is capital investment /seed capital to assist me with costs of training – coaching and travel/accommodation  to races this year and over the forthcoming years.

FUNDING GOAL:

My goal is to raise €5,000 to help me fund competitions- races and across  Europe from July to September , and in the UK in November   as well as 2 white water  training camps in April and June in France in preparation for European racing season.  Costs exceed €20,000 per year for coaching,  competition entry fees,  travel and living expenses and replacement equipment. If I could raise this money it would make a huge difference to me, allowing me to race at the highest level internationally . Help me make it happen . Thank you.

 

Just a short update to let you know how I am doing.

Thank you all for making this happen. I have almost achieved 50% of my goal on line. As well as that a number of businesses have agreed to support me and gave me donations in 2015 :

So the following businesses have given me funding to help with my racing this year.
Top Manufacturer of Canoe Slalom Boats and Paddles: GALASPORT , CZ Republic
Irish Companies: McGarrell Reilly Group, Dublin : Tricel , Kerry: TK Alarms, Meath; Lucan Orthodontics; Bruce Betting, Meath; Moyglare Sand & Gravel, Kildare ; Topline Clearys, Kildare
Here is a video of my training at Lee Valley. London : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kn84pRRFAS8&feature=youtu.be

 

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+Achievements

BRITISH OPEN RACE - LEE VALLEY OLYMPIC COURSE, LONDON 2014

7TH PLACE IN SENIORS & 4TH PLACE IN JUNIORS C1 WOMEN- CANOE SLALOM

JUNIOR ECA ( EUROPEAN CUP ASSOCIATION ) RACES 2014 - RANKING

BRONZE – OVERALL RANKING in C1 J18 Women

PYRENNES CUP (1.2.3.) 2014

PYRENNES CUP - 3 Races in La Seu d'Urgell , Spain : Pau, France :Foix , France Overall 6th Place in C1W

SERGE CUP, SPAIN 2014

BRONZE - 3RD PLACE

ECA Cup Races 2015

11th July to the 10th August - Bratislava - Flattach - Augsburg - Solkan - Ceske Budejovice - Krakow Qualified for Finals in 6 out of the 11 Races Bratislava, Flattach, Solkan and Ceske Budejovice Bronze Medal in Solkan Gold Medal in Ceske Budejovice

JUNIOR ECA ( EUROPEAN CUP ASSOCIATION ) RACES 2015- RANKING

SILVER – OVERALL RANKING in C1 : J18

+Thank Yous and Updates

Easter Training Camp 2015 (Huningue, France and Prague- Czech Republic )

I arrived here last Saturday morning with my brother Tadhg at Basel Airport for the start of a 2 week training camp with our Coach , Marc Jegou. It is so good to be on whitewater everyday and have one to one coaching . Everyday is tough with 2 to 3 training sessions. So eat, train and sleep , eat , train, sleep. And so the cycle continues...... At the weekend we travel to Prague , I wonder what Easter Sunday will be like in Prague. Thanks so much to those who have supported me so far. I really appreciate it....

Prague - Troja Canoe Slalom Course: Easter Sunday 6th April for 1 week

So spent today travelling from Huningue in France to Prague for 5 days of training here in Prague. I really like this course. Last summer I spent a week here with Tadhg, Cillian and my little sister Niamh. The four of us trained together on the course . This time though it is all serious . Making the most of the 2nd week of my school holidays. Weather is a little bit cool 3 degrees. Hope it warms up

Easter Monday , its 3 degrees and snowing in Prague at our Training Camp

So the sun is shining I hear in Ireland and here I am with the snow in Prague this morning. Nevertheless training must go on and its 2 water sessions no matter what the weather. This afternoon the snow stopped and the sun was really nice. No shorty cag though.,,,,,,

Back at School &

Its Tuesday and back in school since yesterday. Missing the whitewater already. Thanks again to all my supporters that have pledged monies for me , My Pledge project is gaining momentum and like also to thank Sportwomens.ie and Womens Sports Journal for writing articles: http://www.sportswomen.ie/caoimhe-oferrall-chasing-my-olympic-dream/ http://www.womenssportsjournal.com/school-is-never-out-one-to-watch-junior-c1-athlete-trains-18-times-a-week/

Promotion of my fundraising Project on the Radio

So doing radio interviews is really nerve racking. I would rather go down Lee Valley with my eyes closed than do radio interviews. Well that is how I felt at the time. But it was ok. I hope that lots of people heard me and will support my project

IRELAND'S ADVENTURE MAGAZINE "OUTSIDER" ARTICLE 26th April 2015

Thanks to Outsider Magazine for their article on me. You can read it online at : http://www.outsider.ie/Features/April-2015/Caoimhe-O%E2%80%99Ferrall-looking-for-funding,-internation

Meath Chronicle Saturday 25th April 2015 Edition

Again thanks to Stephen Tormey for his article in the Meath chronicle on supporting my fundraising project

Hi All. Thanks again for all the support . I am very happy that I have almost acheived 50% of my target.

I am very happy with the support I am getting from you all. It is a really busy time for me now trying to balance exams and still training morning and evening each day this month. So I have not posted much here or on my website during the last few weeks. At the end of May , I head to France for an intensive month of training before I start racing in the ECA Cup races during July and August . The big focus will be on the Junior European Championships in Krakow at the end of August.

Its Time to Race. Let the fun begin........ Thanks for all your support

Almost there now, 1 more day of exams tomorrow, Thursday and I start to pack my gear for travel overseas for the next 3 and half months. I leave this Saturday morning for France for one month intensive training and preparations for my racing season with my coach Mr Marc Jegou. In early July there are 8 ECA races that I will compete in , I will travel to the 2 races in Bratislava (SVK), then 1 race in Flattach ( Austria) 2 races in Augsburg ( Germany ), 2 races in Solkan (SLO) and 2 in Ceske Budejovice (CZE) . In early August I race in the last of the ECA races in Krakow (POL). Then 1 weeks rest , away from my boat and then the big one is the Junior European Championships in Krakow at the end of August. So wish me the best. Thanks again to you all support me . I really appreciate it. Caoimhe

ECA Cup Races July - August 2015

After 5 weeks of training in France where the weather conditions were perfect for training, I left Huningue along with my brother Tadhg, Dad and our Coach, Marc to race in the ECA Cup races. First stop was Bratislava where I had never trained or raced on this course before, next stop was Flattach in Austria and again I had not raced on this course before. In between the races , we have spent many hours driving from one course to another, from Flattach to Solkan and then on to Ceske Budejovice. Tadhg has returned home to complete his college internship and since last week Cillian my other brother has joined me. By now I have completed 9 out of the 10 races of the ECA Cup , the last one will be in Krakow next weekend.

ECA Race -Solkan

3rd Place- Bronze Medal

ECA Race - Ceske Budejovice

1st Place - Gold Medal

ECA ( EUROPEAN CUP ASSOCIATION ) RACES 2015- Ranking

2nd Place - Silver - C1 Women in J18 category

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