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Lee: I’m looking at the positives… I have an extra year to train

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Killarney high jumper Jordan Lee talks to Adam Moynihan about adapting his training regime during the shutdown and his thoughts on the Paralympic Games being moved to 2021.

 

Well Jordan, how’s the lockdown going for you? Is it challenging to train and keep fit at the moment?

It’s okay. I’ve kind of adapted everything that I have around me to suit my own training regime. I’m staying in my father’s house at the Brehon Apartments in Killarney and I’m very grateful to have access to the Gleneagle Pitch & Putt course, which is literally right on my doorstep.

I can do very technical high jumping drills on the grass, I can do hill sprints, I can do tempo runs… I can do lots of different things there.In terms of gym work, I’ve been using two wheelie bins as a squat rack. My two main lifts in the gym would be the Bulgarian split squat and quarter squat so if I wasn’t able to do those and actually jump over a bar all at once, all of my explosive power would go dramatically and very quickly. I’ve also got my own Olympic bar, a couple of dumbbells, and a med ball, so there’s a wide variety of things I can do.

I’m actually doing alright to be honest. The only thing I can’t replicate obviously is jumping over a bar, but I’m managing away.

On a personal level, how are you finding being at home all the time?

The hardest thing really is that I normally live with my mother (Mary Buckley), my stepfather (Dermot Buckley) and my younger brothers and sisters in Killorglin but we made the decision that it would be best for everybody if I stayed in Killarney for the time being. We were cautious of me going out training, getting the coronavirus and spreading it to other people in the family.

That’s one of the sacrifices I’ve had to make – I haven’t been able to see my mother or my stepfather or my younger brothers and sisters. But it had to be done because I have to get my training in.

I’m finding that the days are going by pretty fast. I have two sessions a day. When I get up in the morning I always start off by doing my usual core routine and stretching, then I might do a couple of 8x40m hill sprints and I follow that up with a gym session. Then I go for a jog down to the lake, which is 1.5km away, and I come back and do my recovery work which would take an hour and a half. So, realistically, I’m getting five to six hours of training in a day.

That’s taking up a lot of my time but apart from training, I’ve been playing a good bit of PlayStation. And Facetiming a couple of friends - I’d be lost without that.

You had been preparing for the Paralympics in Tokyo in August but they’ve now been pushed back to 2021 because of COVID-19. What did you make of that decision?

It was something that I kind of expected so when the announcement was made, I wasn’t surprised to be honest with you. It’s completely understandable that the games have to be pushed back. People’s safety has to come first.

Obviously it’s disappointing, but I’m looking at the positives. I have an extra year to train and to get better and improve myself.

That was my next question. Could the extra year actually end up benefiting you in the long run? Because, although you’ve already achieved an awful lot, you’re still relatively new to the sport.

Definitely. I agree. Look, what I’ve been saying is that it’s a new date, but the mission remains the same.

Any message or advice for people on how to get through this difficult time?

I put up an Instagram post on St Patrick’s Day and what I said was, “We can’t control the situation but what we can control is the way in which we react to it”. This will all pass by at some stage. Keep that positive mindset that we’ll all get through it together. We just have to stay patient and trust the process.

 

Pic: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile.

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Séamus Moynihan tops Kerry manager poll ahead of Jack O’Connor and Peter Keane

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by Adam Moynihan

Although it now appears as though he could be a selector on the Stephen Stack ticket, four-time All-Ireland winner Séamus Moynihan has topped our ‘Next Kerry Manager’ poll by collecting over one-third of the overall vote.

Around 37% of respondents said that Moynihan should be the next Kerry boss with 23% of fans backing former manager Jack O’Connor. The team’s most recent bainisteoir, Peter Keane, received 18% of the votes.

Another former manager, Eamonn Fitzmaurice, is next in line on 10%, although it is believed that he is not willing to return to the fold due to work commitments.

In addition to the four main candidates mentioned above, readers were also invited to nominate their own preferred candidate. This open field threw up 16 more names with former Kerry and Dr Crokes manager Pat O’Shea the most popular entry. The Killarney man received around 3.5% of the vote.

Donie Buckley got roughly half as many votes as O’Shea, and the other prospective managers ended up with less than 1% each.

MOYNIHAN/STACK

Glenflesk native Moynihan enjoyed a glittering playing career for The Kingdom between 1992 and 2006, the highlight perhaps coming in the year 2000 when he captained his county to All-Ireland glory. He has since taken on coaching roles with his own club and with Fossa and was part of Darragh Ó Sé’s Kerry U21 management team in 2015.

It had been suggested that Monaghan’s defensive coach Donie Buckley would be part of the Moynihan ticket. Buckley was also a member of Peter Keane’s backroom team, but Keane relieved him of his duties in the early stages of the 2020 season.

However, after this survey was completed, Tony Leen of the Irish Examiner reported that Moynihan and Buckley are, indeed, part of the same ticket, but the manager’s name attached is that of current Killarney Legion boss Stephen Stack.

Stack himself had a long and distinguished playing career with The Kingdom and as a manager led Austin Stacks to the County Championship in 2014 and Legion to an East Kerry Championship in 2019.

The Listowel native is also rumoured to be calling on Dara Ó Cinnéide and Mickey Ned O’Sullivan as selectors, with Joe O’Connor filling the role of strength and conditioning coach.

Stack was not considered to be a realistic candidate at the time of the survey; he was one of the 14 managers who received less than 1% of the vote.

KERRY SUPPORTERS SURVEY

Q: Who should be the next manager of the Kerry senior football team?

Séamus Moynihan 36.7%

Jack O’Connor  23.4%

Peter Keane 18.1%

Eamonn Fitzmaurice 10%

Pat O’Shea 3.5%

Donie Buckley 1.6%

Others* 6.7%

(Carried out online on September 21/22. 431 respondents.)

*Mike Quirke, John Sugrue, Jim McGuinness, Jim Gavin, Jerry O’Sullivan, Maurice Fitzgerald, Tomás Ó Sé, Johnny Crowley, Stephen Stack, Kieran Donaghy, John Evans, Paul Galvin, Marc Ó Sé, Liam Kearns.

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Jordan’s new role with St Paul’s

By Sean Moriarty Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club. Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level. The High Jumper then switched […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club.

Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level.

The High Jumper then switched to track and field and qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics where he made history by becoming the first Kerry athlete to act as a flag bearer for an opening ceremony and lead an Irish team into an Olympic Stadium.

Now back home and preparing for the next Olympics in Paris, he has returned to his first love and will join the backroom staff at the local Division One basketball club ahead of their National League campaign which begins next month.

His father Jarlath Lee is head coach with St Paul’s.

“Jordan is joining us as our strength and conditioning coach,” Jarlath told the Killarney Advertiser.

INTERNATIONALS

Meanwhile, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club National League team will have a distinctive feel to it this year after securing the services of three overseas players it for the season ahead.

The club’s biggest signing is Canadian professional Ben Miller. It was originally hoped that the former two-time Manitoba Player of the Year would play for the local side last season but the pandemic got in the way and the National League was never played. However, he did play two training games this time last year before returning to Canada until travel restrictions lifted.

“He is a good guy, very approachable and very good with the young members,” Jarlath said.

The club has also signed Bulgarian International Emilian Grudov.

The 20-year-old has already represented his home country at U16, 18 and 20 level.

“He is young, athletic and very good offensively,” added Lee.

The returning Lithuanian Dianius Varanaukus completes the club international line up for the 2020/21 season.

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