Mr Nicks discusses the importance of sports with local students
Stay active as much as you can is the message Simon Nicks delivered to Dundalk students when quizzed about playing football and sports in the current climate recently.
The Northern Irish U18s Head Coach and Newry FC U20s manager, is also a PE teacher and football coach in Dundalk school Coláiste Chú Chulainn.
When answering questions from students, he was keen to impress the importance of participating in sports for wellbeing and expressed a hope that students and young people would be able to return to some sort of participation in sports in the near future.
He noted recent studies that suggest that teenagers who play sport are much more likely to have higher levels of wellbeing and lower symptoms of anxiety and depression.
“I loved playing, coaching is great, but you do miss playing; keeping yourself fit and well and the craic you have with team-mates. I’ve no doubt that there is a dual benefit of playing sports – the physical and the mental. So hopefully we’ll see an opportunity to do so, safely, soon.”
‘Mr Nicks’ recounted his career progression and some of the highlights of his career to students who were keen to know if they would be representing the school anytime soon.
“It would be great to get in in my first year and get things going and get some success in team sports. I enjoy working with young people and like creating the opportunities for them to get active. We are training in the north [at time of interview] but it’s week by week, it’s difficult.
“I’d worry in Dundalk at the moment, that kids will drop out of sports because it’s not happening. I’m glad I can do something in PE that I feel helps. But do something
“But I’d advise students to keep active as much as possible. For the time being, look at running, walking and other things that might be happening in your locality to keep yourself ticking over.”
Many thanks to Connall, Cian and Connel in LCA for conducting this interview.