The National Learning Network is proud that John Paul Shaw, a student on the horticultural course in Edgeworthstown, is representing Ireland in the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017.
This talented floorball player says that keeping active has played a part in helping him to maintain his physical fitness.
“As a horticulturist I’m always on the go. I like to get stuck into work and I’ve done lots of digging, weeding and grass cutting as well as sowing seeds, propagating plants and using lots of different types of garden equipment,” he said.
“I enjoy learning how to work to a professional standard and I’ve got real work experience with a busy local company.”
Alan Garvey, Course Instructor, added that John Paul is a hard working student whose confidence has grown throughout his two-year QQI training.
“It’s not just been about getting to grips with the practical side of horticulture though,” explained John Paul.
“I’ve also gained lots of knowledge by doing modules in the classroom and passed exams that I never thought I would. It was challenging but the National Learning Network has given me lots of support along the way and this boosted my confidence.
“I’d really recommend them for anyone who wants to learn new skills, make new friends and bring change into their life. I’m going to enjoy playing floorball in Austria but will return to the horticultural course and successfully complete my training and hopefully get a job.
“I’m really looking forward to Centreparc’s opening in the future as they will need qualified and experienced gardeners and I know that I am an enthusiastic one.”
Alan Garvey commented: “We wish John Paul every success in Austria. We are proud of him and his outstanding achievements.”
John Paul travelled to Austria with his coach Michael Keenan on Tuesday. The games will open on March 18 and will run until March 25.
To keep up to date with Team Ireland's progress, follow Special Olympics Ireland on Twitter @SOIreland and Facebook, at Special Olympics Ireland.