Role Model- Erin McConnell

Role Model- Erin McConnell

Erin McConnell


Who would have guessed that Erin McConnell would find her passion while running around a parking lot during a swim meet? It was then that someone from Triathlon Ireland suggested that she come for a come-tri day. Growing up competing in swimming and cross country, it wasn’t an insane idea for her to compete in a triathlon. However, the suggestion came a little earlier than she had anticipated. Erin’s first race was initially meant to be a try-day event, but in reality, she was competing in her first sprint triathlon. As she crossed the finish line for the first time, she remembers shedding tears and describing it as the most challenging thing she had ever done. Despite the difficulty, she has continued to compete and fondly recalls the moment she first wore the Ireland Green tri suit—a significant milestone for her. Competing in prestigious events like the world championships and, most recently, the European Games for the first time has been monumental for Erin.

Erin has set her sights high, aspiring to qualify for the Olympics. This year, she has dedicated herself to improving and becoming better. When discussing transitioning from a U23 athlete to a senior elite, Erin emphasizes cultivating a supportive circle. Her parents and coach, Chris, play crucial roles in her life. Over the years, Erin and Chris have built a strong relationship based on trust. Additionally, Erin’s father continues to serve as her swimming coach. The trust they have developed allows for effective communication in training and the creation of a successful program.

Erin is immensely grateful for the people surrounding her. It is her circle that keeps her motivated and moving forward. Her advice on staying active highlights the positive impact physical activity can have on mental health. For Erin, being active is her happy place, a long-standing stress reliever during challenging times such as exams or significant moments. However, competing in a triathlon is not always easy. It requires goal-setting, extensive preparation, and the commitment to excel in three different sports. Erin also had to learn the skill of self-promotion to continue competing at the elite level, including engaging with potential sponsors. She soon discovered that the background work and details of competing were more time-consuming than she had anticipated. She is still navigating the social media aspect, which we can all agree is not as easy as it seems.

At the end of the day, Erin is pursuing her dream and working tirelessly to achieve it. This year, she has invested in herself and aims to become a positive role model for others, encouraging them to become active and supporting young or new triathletes in their sports involvement. The Female Sports Forum is excitedly following Erin’s journey as she continues to achieve significant milestones. Thank you, Erin, for being a role model!