Nadia Power - Journey to Success

Nadia Power is a third year Marketing, Innovation and Technology student at DCU, who recently won bronze at the European Athletics u23 Championships 800m race in 2019. Achieving this sporting success is no easy feat and requires great determination and dedication. In this piece, Nadia talks about her sporting career so far, what the future holds for her and how Covid-19 has impacted her competition schedule this year.

How did your career in athletics first begin?

I won a race at my primary school’s sports day when I was about eight-years-old, so my mam thought it would be a good idea for me to join my local athletics club, Templeogue AC. I trained with Templeogue AC until I was 16 and began training with Dublin City Harriers AC this year.

My secondary school, St Mac Dara’s, really encouraged students to get involved in sport, so I had a great team of distance runners to train with while in secondary school. During my time at St Mac Dara’s, I won six Leinster Schools Titles, came first in an All-Ireland Schools Cross Country and came first four times in All-Ireland Schools 1500m races.

What attracted you to study at DCU?

I was really drawn to DCU’s MINT course and I was offered a sports scholarships by the DCU Sports Academy, so the decision to go to DCU was an easy one. I’m really happy I chose DCU, as I’ve definitely seen my biggest improvements in running since starting university here.

I originally came to DCU running 1500m races, but I decided to have a go at 800m and realised I’m really good at this shorter distance race. Since then, I’ve won the University Outdoor and Indoor Championships, medalled at the Irish National Senior Outdoor and Indoor Championships and also won bronze at the European Athletics u23 Championships 800m race in 2019.

How have DCU and the Sports Academy helped you to develop as an athlete?

I’ve had some fantastic coaches since I’ve come to DCU who have pushed me and supported me throughout my time here. I think the best thing about DCU though is having other students who are training just as intensely as you are. I owe a big credit to the group of people I’ve trained with at DCU – they’ve been a great support network and have definitely helped me get to where I am today.

What are your future goals and career aspirations?

I’m currently on INTRA placement for 10 months, which I’m really enjoying, however I’d like to focus on athletics full time in the future which might involve another year at DCU after my undergraduate degree to enhance my performance to become a professional athlete. In the short term, I’m hoping to represent Ireland in the European Senior Championships 800m race and break the Irish record for the u23 800m race.

Covid-19 has impacted every aspect of our daily lives. How has Covid-19 affected your training and competition schedule for 2020?

Covid-19 has effectively cancelled every upcoming sport events this year, including the Irish Varsity Championships and the Olympics. Athletes like myself are faced with the strange scenario of possibly having no races to train for this summer. Despite this, I’m viewing training as something I enjoy daily and want to work hard at, regardless of whether or not an end goal is in sight. I’m lucky as a middle distance runner as all I need to train is a park, a road, or a field, so I can still fit in my full running schedule and work hard with what I’ve got.

Other supports such as going to the gym or visiting my physiotherapist aren’t currently available, but thankfully I have some basic equipment at home to supplement my gym session and I can also speak to my physio through video call to get any advice needed to prevent injuries.