Student Experience

Andrew Goff

2018 U23 World Rowing Silver Medallist

Engineering Stage 4

UCD Ad Astra Elite Sports Scholar and Fourth Year Engineering Student, Andrew Goff offers his advice on applying to UCD’s Ad Astra Elite Sports Scholarship. Read here to find out his reasons on why you should apply!


Paul O’Donovan Rowing

Silver Olympic Medallist and Current Singles World Champion

Physiotherapy Alumnus (2017)

Olympic Silver Medallist and Singles World Champion for 2017 and 2016.  Won Gold with his brother Gary in the Double Sculls, at European Championships, 2016.

06:50 I’d have the alarm set for this time every morning and I’d try make some attempt of dragging myself out of bed. That attempt usually takes about 30mins. I’d get a quick bowl of porridge, pack my gear bag and head out the door and drive on for training.

08:00  I would be aiming to be on the water for this time but the attempt to get out of bed takes so long I’m only landing into the National Rowing Centre for this hour.  Get changed as quickly  as possible, and fire the boat onto the water then.

The morning sessions is usually a long steady one lasting between 20-30km.

10:30 Take the boat off the water and put it back in the shed. Have the second breakfast and head home for a nap.

13:00 Get up again and have some lunch. The Grandmother makes some great soup most days so that keeps me strong and healthy.

14:00  I would try and get some study done this time of the day. This year I am spending a lot of time training down in Cork at the National Rowing Centre so it’s important I try to stay up to date with my lectures.  I keep in touch with the Ad Astra Academy and the School of Physiotherapy regarding academic and sporting events.

16:00 Back to the Rowing Centre for the second session. This time it’s a shorter but more intense session. Twice a week there is a weight lifting session after this.

19:00 Head back home and cook the dinner. After dinner I might watch some television or read a book.

22:30 Brush the teeth and go to bed.

This year, thanks to the Ad Astra Elite Sports Academy, I slow tracked during my preparations for Rio and remained in Cork.  Usually, I stay in UCD at Roebuck in the catered section.   This is great because I don’t have to worry about preparing food and means that I can train and study more effectively.