Paul Byrne

Paul Byrne

Paul is an international 400m hurdler from County Laois. His passion for sport started at an early age and he took part in sports from swimming to soccer and everything in-between. Growing up on the doorstep of his county’s only athletics track it was only a matter of time before he tried his hand at track and field.

It was once he reached secondary school that Paul focused more on athletics. His progression in events like the high jump, long jump and 110m hurdles started to improve rapidly, but it was not until 2007 that he sampled the 400m hurdles for the first time. Paul embraced his new event with open arms and enjoyed its mixture of technical, endurance and speed elements. Once Paul moved to college in Dublin, he really began to see his true potential event.

In 2011 he had a breakthrough year and managed to beat his personal best by more than three seconds to qualify for the European U23 Championships where he exceeded expectation and made the semi-finals.

After three years of little improvement, Paul began to fall out of love with the event and became disheartened despite the huge commitment he was giving to the sport. After numerous conversations with his friends and family, he decided to relocate himself to Limerick to work under new coaches and training partners to give athletics one more shot.

Stepping out of his comfort zone and into a new environment gave Paul a hunger to achieve and he went from strength-to-strength. In 2015, he began to break barriers as he became the first Irish man to race indoors over 400m hurdles and, in doing so, set a national record. Later that season Paul beat his personal best again, taking him to fourth on the Irish all-time list for 400m hurdles.

Away from the track, he is also studying for an MSc in Sports Performance in Limerick, which links in perfectly with his athletics career.

When joining Sky Sports Living for Sport he said: "Becoming an Athlete Mentor is a dream come true for me. Sport has had such a positive effect on me as a person, teaching me transferrable skills that I can apply to all areas of life.

"Through my own experiences and knowledge I now have an amazing opportunity to make a genuine difference to students' lives by inspiring them to achieve their own personal best - be that in sport or elsewhere. I hope to show students that no matter what challenges they may face, having the right attitude in combination with the hunger to achieve good things will come their way."

Sporting Achievements:

  • Double National Record Holder
  • European U23 Semi-Finalist
  • 4th Irish All-Time 400m Hurdles