Olympian Aidan Walsh Visits Donegal Town

This week, local students and young athletes from Donegal Town Boxing Club and Scoil Áodh Rua agus Nuala were lucky enough gain insight into what it takes to achieve their most ambitious goals from Team Ireland Olympic Boxer, Aidan Walsh as part of Olympic Federation of Ireland Dare to Believe School’s Programme, sponsored by Permanent TSB.

Permanent TSB wanted to bring this visit beyond the school and into the local community in Donegal, on Wednesday evening Aidan visited the local boxing club in Donegal Town where our upcoming boxers got to meet their idol while receiving an inspiring talk around hard work and dedication followed by a training session with Aidan.

On Thursday morning Aidan travelled to meet the students at Scoil Aodh Rua agus Nuala where they got to hear about Aidan’s journey to becoming an Olympian followed by an in-class activity. The students had already been participating in Dare to Believe to date through the Dare to Believe schools programme where each school participating receives resource packs which cover the Olympic Values of respect, equality, healthy mind and body, joy of effort and striving for excellence.


Speaking at the event, Permanent TSB Territory Sales Manager for Donegal, Julian Mooney, said the visits are an exciting part of the Bank’s title sponsorship of the Irish Olympic Team and Irish Paralympic Team for Paris 2024.

“We are really proud to be title sponsor of Team Ireland and the Olympic Federation of Ireland’s Dare to Believe School’s Programme. Our community ethos is a key differentiator for Permanent TSB and like us, Dare to Believe is grounded in communities across the country.

We all have role models that we look up to, but there is no substitute for having the chance to meet them in person. Our hope is that these fantastic students and aspiring boxers will be inspired by their interactions with Dare to Believe athletes like Aidan, that will encourage them to believe in themselves and strive even harder to achieve their potential.”

Dare to Believe was originally launched in 2019 to bring the spirit of the Olympic Games to the primary school classroom and inspires young people across Ireland to dare to believe in themselves.

Through support from Permanent TSB, the programme expanded into secondary schools in 2022 to help to further grow its impact. Over the last year, Dare to Believe has reached 704 primary and secondary schools, with the curriculum being delivered to more than 49,000 students in communities across the country.

Dare to Believe Programme Manager Roisín Jones commented on the event in Donegal saying “This special opportunity will allow the young people in the Donegal Community to witness first-hand the power of hard work, determination, and commitment, as they listen to Aidan’s incredible journey in sport to date. Beyond the glory of Olympic triumphs, Aidan Walsh really embodies the Olympic values that we instil in our Dare to Believe Programme – values such as having a healthy mind and body, having respect for yourself, your community and the environment, and finding the joy effort will help you in both sport and life. Aidan has been able to share invaluable insights, empowering these young people to dare to believe in themselves, set ambitious goals, and strive relentlessly to achieve them.”

Also speaking at the event Dare to Believe ambassador and Irish Olympian Aidan Walsh said “Growing up boxing was my life, and I used to look at my heroes in sport and get inspired by their achievements. I remember seeing boxers like Paddy Barnes and Ryan Burnett coming home with Olympic medals and world-class performances and seeing them achieve helped me dare to believe in myself. I hope that by sharing my story, and journey, with the children here in Donegal, they will now move through life daring to believe in their own dreams.”


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