DkIT Students Fly the Flag for Excellence in Ladies Sport

20 December 2019

Two students from Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) have received recognition for their outstanding achievements in sport. Evelyn Igharo (18), a 2nd year student in the BSc (Hons) in Health & Physical Activity secured her first ever over 18’s National Elite Boxing title and Katelyn O’Brien (19), a 1st year student in the same course was named the institute’s first ever Ladies Sportsperson of the Month in DkIT for her contribution to the both DkIT Soccer and GAA teams.

The news of the students’ sporting successes coincides with DkIT’s recent commitment to women in sport as part of the 20x20 initiative. This is a national movement organised by the Federation of Irish Sport, that aims to create a real and tangible shift in Irish society. DkIT is one of 24 colleges and universities across the island of Ireland that signed the 20x20 charter which pledges support to women in sport movement.

Speaking about their achievements, Dr Fiona Hackett, Programme Director on the BSc (Hons) in Health & Physical Activity Programme at DkIT said,

We’re all incredibly proud of Evelyn and Katelyn in their achievements so far, I particularly think that this year with the 20/20 drive to promote ladies sport that they are definitely flying the flag for ladies’ sport here in DkIT and are doing a fantastic job at that.”

As elite sportspeople, it is important that they are supported to continue in their sport while also completing their third level education so that they have the qualifications needed to pursue successful careers in their chosen field.

I also think that the nature of the course they are studying will only support their sports performances as well. They’re learning to look after themselves with regards to health, with regards to physical activity commitments and how to balance both and I think that adds to their sporting careers and their sporting performances as well.”

Evelyn, who lives in Dundalk has boxed for her local club, Clann Naofa Boxing Academy since she was eight years old and is no stranger to sporting success. She won silver in the European championships in Italy in 2018 and has fourteen national titles and seven provincial title under her belt. She now boxes for Team Ireland and has her sights firmly set on the Olympics 2024.

Speaking today, she said,

I train in Abbotstown full time so I’m there four days a week. My lecturers send me some of the work that I need to study and in between training sessions I find time to study up there. I chose my course because I do sports and wanted to know more about the science behind exercise and health. At a very basic level, I wanted better understand what I’m putting into my body so that it can enhance my training.”

Katelyn is from Ballyboughal, Co. Dublin and is a GAA Sports Scholar at the institute. She currently plays for Dublin Ladies Minor team and Ballyboughal ladies, as well as both DkIT Ladies GAA and Soccer teams.

Also speaking today, she added,

I train nearly every day, sometimes twice a day. So between the gym and training on the pitch, you just need be disciplined and keep to your schedule. At DkIT they really help you balance it out for you they’re very good like that. It is such an honour to be named as DkIT’s first ever Ladies Player of the Month and I hope it will encourage other women to get involved in sport, no matter what their level.”

The BSc (Hons) in Health & Physical Activity is one of two leading sports degree programmes at DkIT which also includes the BA in Sports, Exercise & Enterprise. To find out more about these programmes, please visit

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