Gillick giving back to local community

by Stephen Findlater
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TWO-TIME European 400m indoor champion and celebrity Master Chef champion David Gillick is hoping he can use his wide variety of experiences to help out the local community.

This Friday, he will be bringing his cooking skills to his alma mater, St Benildus College.

It is part of an initiative he has been developing and which has already run in Loreto Foxrock and in Pobal Scoil Iosa in Malahide.

It aims to teach students about the link between sport and nutrition to help inform their food choices.

In tandem with this, he has also taken up the challenge of working as a trainer with Ballinteer St John’s senior footballers, a team his brother John has lined out with for a number of years.

Previously, he has been based in the US and in Loughborough in England as part of his training programme but, now based back in Ireland, it is a challenge that he is really enjoying.

“I played a lot of Gaelic when I was younger and I am back in the area now,” he told GazetteSport. “It’s a big interest to me and it is nice to be involved in a team. It’s different and if I can give them any advice or anything like that, I will gladly do it.”

With an impressive batch of Under-21 players rising through the club – they recently won the Under-21A hurling championship title for the first time and reached the football semi-final – the aim is promotion from AFL Division 2 after a narrow miss before Christmas.

They have struggled to emulate that form thus far in 2014 but Gillick is confident that when the club finally gets access to its best players, they will quickly be rising up the standings.

“Because last year was good, players have been called up to intercounty. This year, there’s a few new players coming in and few who aren’t there and new management. There’s been a lot of change and it hasn’t quite gelled just yet.”

He is talking about players like Glen Whelan and the injured Peter O’Curry who are very much stars of the future and ones that he is looking forward to working with.

Meanwhile, athletics very much remains part of his programme but he says he has no specific targets just yet after two years blighted by injury.

“Right now, I am just focusing on my training. It has been a rough two year so I am taking a wider view and not really focusing on any single events.

“Obviously, I would love to run the Europeans but it is literally one day and one week at a time, adding up the inches and, hopefully, the outcome will look after itself.”

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