Life’s ambition to get to Paralympics 2016
WHO IS DECLAN SLEVIN:
Declan Slevin is a family man married for 20 years with three children, a carpenter by trade who sustained a spinal injury from work accident at his home in 2004 where he was paralysed form the chest down. Declan comes from Rosemount, Co. Westmeath and has been a paracyclist for nearly 4 years. Declan became an avid sportsperson after this life changing event firstly venturing into the sport of wheelchair basketball. He was then introduced to paracycling and competing in a Time Trial (TT) in Athlone in 2012. This is where Declan found the freedom and thrill for handcycling and decided to dedicate more and more time towards the sport specifically competition. Declan has been invited and is very proud to be the ambassador for the Irish Wheelchair “Angels” campaign for the handbike angel. He also holds the position of Paracycling Secretary for Cycling Ireland for the last two years.
WHERE WE ARE:
He founded Rosemount CC with fellow cyclist and friends and train weekly with them all year round. He complements his training still with wheelchair basketball two nights a week. Sports dominated Declan’s routine, he heads to Aspire gym three times a week, devotes 10 plus hours to handcycling training. With this schedule it would not be dissimilar to that of a full-time professional athlete. Finishing off the cycling season of 2013 Declan ventured to the international scene where he competed in the European Handbike Federation League last leg in Barcellona, Spain. At this event he was introduced to handbike road race scene as well time trial. Such a great buzz to be competing with the World’s Elite handbike cyclist and finding a place on the table knowing what challenges lay ahead to compete against them the following year. 2014 and 2015 lead to more training, National and International Events where Declan improves placing all the time. Winning the National League and climbing the ladder on the international stage Declan has also in set a new National TT Record taking 4 minutes of the previously set record.
WHERE WE GO FROM HERE:
Competing for his country has been a huge achievement and been able to wear his national jersey on the international stage has such very proud moments. 2016 lays ahead with some major challenges, qualification for the Rio Paralympics is all down to points gathered on the international front. Attending these event such as the forthcoming World Cups in South Africia and Belgium, possible selection for the World events and hopefully qualifying to represent his club and country in Rio 2016. As a self funded athlete to date the challenges and expenses of travelling to international events, transportation of equipment, repair and maintenance of equipment and general training costs are the biggest obstacles for Declan going forward. Help with this will allow full concentration on the necessary areas that Declan needs to devote this time to fulfil his dream.