Sporting Pride and Dublin Front Runners are collaborating to host an online interview with the wonderful Andrew Burke Hannon, an inspirational leader on RTE’s Operation Transformation most recent series. GCN will host this event as part of their ongoing In & Out Festival on Wednesday, April 21 at 7 pm.
Andrew was very open about his experience growing up as a gay man in Clondalkin. He was badly bullied during his school years, a period of his life that was extremely difficult for him. During that time his love for Baton Twirling grew, a sport he is extremely passionate about, resulting in him becoming a champion twirler. 2021 was going to be the year that he finally took control of his health and wellbeing and he signed up to Operation Transformation where he lost an astonishing 2 stone 3lbs. Andrew made history by recording the fastest 5k run by any leader since the show began – 23 minutes and 24 seconds.
Andrew Burke Hannon would now like to promote the sport of running to others and says that “if I could inspire one person to get up and get involved in some kind of sport I would be over the moon!”.
The Dublin Front Runners are on a similar mission – to promote the sport of running to everyone in our community. Ahead of next Wednesday’s talk, they said “we would like to welcome all levels of runners to join us next Wednesday to hear more about Andrew’s journey”. Viewers will have the unique opportunity to ask Andrew questions via the chat system, which will be answered towards the end of the interview.
This event will be presented by communications specialist Steven O’Riordan. Steven is an award-winning feature-length documentary producer and director. His works include The Forgotten Maggies (TG4), No Limbs No Limits (RTE) and Born Lucky (BBC). His No. 1 bestselling book ‘Whispering Hope’ was published in 2015. It chronicles the remarkable success he and Magdalene, survivors of institutional abuse, had when they sought and secured a historic state apology in Ireland. Steven is also a member and active runner with the Dublin Front Runners Club!
Steven is adamant that “diversity and inclusion in sport should be on the agenda of every organisation. When I think of sport, I think of the positive opportunities it can bring to all young people. Sport helps with personal development and creates a sense of community. However, as a gay man, I have often felt like an outsider when it came to my participation in sport. I know this to be true of many people who are gay. As a society, we need to strive to achieve better; education, visibility and participation is the key to that”.
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