Waterford’s Hayley Fitzsimons flies out today (Thursday) to compete in the 2017 IWAS World Games which take place in Vila Real de Santo Antonio, Portugal.
These games include a variety of sports including archery, athletics, swimming, table tennis and para taekwondo. Hayley is taking part in the shotput, javelin and discus while holding the Irish Record in these three disciplines. She will be competing within the open class where it ranges from 20-35 years old. There is a total of 43 different countries competing in these games including; Ireland, UK, USA, Sweden and Denmark to name but a few. The age categories that athletes can compete in at these games are U18, U20, Open and Masters. Ireland is sending a team of fifteen athletes, where there is four females and eleven males along with support staff.
Hayley who is from Portlaw and is a member of Waterford Athletic Club is in her final year at Waterford Institute of Technology where she is studying an honours degree in a Bachelor of Business in Recreation and Sports Management where the lectures provide great support to her. Hayley trains six days a week with her coach Tom Prendergast and works alongside her Physio Josephine Hickey and her Sports Psychologist Richard Shanahan. She was also awarded the gold sports scholarship from the college which supports Hayley in any aspects she may need such as academic and nutrition support. She uses the brand new facilities of the WIT Arena and the High Performance Gym with provide great support to her and allow her to complete her training to the best of her ability.
Hayley would like thank the people of Portlaw and surrounding areas who have continued to support her on her athlete career where she hopes to do them proud. She would also like to thank her family and especially her parents Mary and John and Sister Kelly who continue to support and help her in her sporting career along with encouraging her. You can follow her journey while at the games on facebook.com/hayleyfitzsimonsathlete/