We Are Randox | Biosciences Placement Student Kathryn Wilson

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We Are Randox | Biosciences Placement Student Kathryn Wilson

For our 2018/19 placement students, their year with Randox is almost at an end.

To mark their time with us and wish them the best of luck with their future studies, we took the opportunity to speak with one of our placement students in the sales team, to give us an insight of her experience during a Randox placement year.

Meet Kathryn Wilson, Business Placement Sales Executive for Randox Biosciences.

 

Hi Kathryn, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am a 21-year-old student studying Bsc Equine and Veterinary Bioscience at Aberystwyth University in Wales. In September 2018 I began working in the Biosciences division of Randox Laboratories, specifically working on the release of new molecular technologies for clinical diagnostics. As part of a newly formed sales team, my focus is on the diagnostics market in Ireland.

Why did you want to forge a career in sales?

Whilst studying my bio-veterinary degree my only focus had been on science, so I was keen to broaden my horizons and explore opportunities in a business role for a company involved in the life-sciences industry. Initially, I was tentative of a role in sales, but I knew it would be a good way to develop a broad knowledge of business and the industry, and develop new skills.

Why did you decide to take your placement year with Randox?

Randox was a perfect fit for me, as a global scientific company based in Northern Ireland. I was looking for a placement that would allow me to spend time at home before returning to Wales for university.

I was intrigued by their range of products and diverse market presence in industries such as pharmaceuticals, biotech, research and healthcare. It seemed like a good company to gain an insight into new research in a variety of career sectors.

Describe a typical day as a Business Placement Sales Executive.

My role has evolved as we have moved through the different stages of product development throughout the year. Initially, when I first joined the team, we were in the planning stage. This involved mapping potential contacts and key sites in Ireland, and developing a sales strategy.

As this is a new venture for Randox the role also involved educating the market on our technology and creating awareness in all potential points of sale. This educational aspect of my job involved regular trips and meetings across Ireland, and frequent UK team meetings to discuss market feedback and problem solve. It’s important that we have been able to adapt our sales strategy for the specific healthcare areas -from public to private and point-of-care to large laboratories. Coming into the final month of my placement we are now prepared for product release with confirmed validation studies and initial placements, and significant interest across Ireland.

What are some examples of the tasks and responsibilities of your role?

There has been a range of ongoing tasks throughout the year to facilitate a busy and growing division. I was given the responsibility of forecasting, logging orders and organising meetings, and have been involved in internal decision-making processes alongside management. I have also helped to manage the university contracts in Ireland for our lab equipment, reagents and outsourcing some testing for specific studies.

Before I finish my placement I’m researching the market for upcoming arrays for launch next year, and planning a final trip in Ireland.

What was the most exciting part of your placement with Randox Biosciences?

The opportunity to travel around Ireland and London has been excellent. To date I have participated in over 10 conferences on behalf of Randox. Highlights for me have been corporate hospitality with potential customers at the Randox Health Grand National, and presenting at the first Infectious Disease Forum for Randox, in front of representatives from microbiology sites across Ireland.

I was also trusted to conduct a trip on my own around Donegal and Sligo, coupled with a visit to our Donegal R&D site, Randox Teoranta in Dungloe, to learn about future veterinary arrays in development.

It has been a privilege to be able to work with such a diverse range of people – from the scientists developing the products, to the sales team specialising in markets across the globe.  There are so many different career paths here at Randox.

What has been the most challenging aspect of your time at Randox Biosciences?

I have been challenged to quickly adapt to the business environment and gain an in-depth understanding of the wide range of products. I have been pushed outside my comfort zone to discuss with customers, present to the team and take responsibility of the day-to-day tasks.

Knowing the new molecular diagnostics range, infectious disease panels, and competitors in the market well enough to be confident in front of potential customers on my own, has also been a challenge. Hard work at Randox is acknowledged however, and I was awarded runner-up Business Student of the Year.

What is the best thing about Randox and would you recommend this placement to other students?

The best thing about a placement with Randox is that you will be given as many opportunities as you are willing to take. They are very supportive and will push you as much as any other member of the team.

As a non-business student this year has given me a wealth of insight into the workings of a global company, as well as furthering my scientific knowledge and interests in many aspects of the industry.

I would recommend a Randox placement for students who are keen to gain as much experience as possible in a global company focused on new and exciting health research.

What are your goals for the future?

My experience at Randox has given me an excellent insight into the world of business in the biosciences industry, and has prepared me well to build a career in this exciting industry. I think that the experience gained through Randox will be applicable to many life sciences sectors which I would like to explore further.

Although I am not sure what the future may hold, in the shorter term I am looking forward to returning to finish my final year at Aberystwyth.

For more information about Randox Biosciences and what career opportunities we offer please contact info@randoxbiosciences.com

 

 

 

 

 

Placement student Kathryn Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


We Are Randox | Staff Newsletter April-June 2019 Edition (Q2)

Staff Newsletter April - June 2019 Edition

We are delighted to be able to share with you the Q2 2019 edition of our We Are Randox staff newsletter!

Click here for a range of company and staff news from April to June 2019 – including photographs from the Randox Health Grand National 2019 and all our staff fundraising for AWARE NI and Mind Your Mood.

** Please note that image links work most efficiently in your Google Chrome browser**

 

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We Are Randox | Randox Higher Level Apprentice Sarah Casey is awarded second place in NI WorldSkills Regional Final

A huge congratulations is in order for Science Higher Level Apprentice Sarah Casey who battled it out at the NI WorldSkills Regional Heat on 4th June to be awarded a well-deserved second place.

This was the first WorldSkills NI Regional Heat for Laboratory Technicians and was hosted at Southern Regional College, the Life Sciences Hub for Further Education in Northern Ireland.

The laboratory technician competition is based on real life scenarios in science that demonstrate technical competence in the use of complex instrumentation, laboratory equipment and skills. The competition is designed to reflect the work of a laboratory technician and tests their skills in techniques and procedures to solve practical problems through analysis, tests and measurements while ensuring safe and ethical working practices.

“This regional heat was a fantastic opportunity for higher education students across the sector to showcase their technical and analytical abilities.  The competitors have performed exceptionally well under such challenging conditions” said Dr. Asha Jamil, Life Sciences Hub Development Manager at Southern Regional College.

She continued; “Judges have come from a variety of specialist scientific backgrounds from both education and industry across the UK and I am delighted that competitors from NI had this opportunity to demonstrate their range of skills on such a prestigious platform.  Judges also commented that they were highly impressed by all the competitors’ technical and analytical skills and their professional approach to this challenging competition.” 

Judges were representatives from Middlesex University, Norbrook Laboratories, and also included the current Team UK Laboratory Technician winner, Tonicha Roberts, who is a Forensic Reporting Scientist with Eurofins Forensic Services, UK.

Competitors came from a range of higher education programmes from across the NI sector including Foundation Degrees and Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) programmes.  The HLA students study their underpinning Ulster University Foundation Degrees at Southern Regional College (Newry and Portadown campuses) and are employed with Norbrook Laboratories, Randox and Almac.

Sarah Casey, who was awarded second place, is currently a Southern Regional College student completing the Higher Level Apprenticeship in Applied Industrial Sciences (Life Sciences Pathway) in the Randox Science Park in Antrim. Sarah also won Southern Regional College’s Science Competition in January 2019.

The top performing competitors across the UK will now have a nail-biting wait to see if they have scored high enough to qualify for the WorldSkills UK Final at Birmingham’s NEC in November.   We wish Sarah the best of luck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


We Are Randox | Team Randox abseils Belfast Castle for AWARE NI

On Sunday 14th April 2019, a team of brave Randox colleagues faced their fears and took part in an abseil from the top of Belfast Castle. Scaling the heights of Cavehill, our fourteen daring Randox thrill seekers enjoyed views over Belfast before they stepped over the edge.

The event took place to raise funds for Randox’s charity partner AWARE NI, the depression and bipolar charity of Northern Ireland.

Congratulations to our abseil participants! While this may be something else ticked off the ‘bucket list’, it also, most importantly, is a fantastic effort in raising awareness and funds for the work of this very worthwhile cause.

Well done to everyone with your fundraising. You have all worked very hard and raised a fantastic amount both in cash donations and via JustGiving –  around £2200 so far and counting!

We hope you enjoy the photographs from the day. If you would still like to donate, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/randox-aware-belfast-castle

Once again, many thanks on behalf of both Randox and AWARE NI to the Randox abseilers for their enthusiasm and fundraising efforts on behalf of both Randox and AWARE NI.

For more information about the abseil or our charity partnership with AWARE NI, please contact RandoxPR@randox.com.


We Are Randox | Celine and Kenny dive into fundraising for AWARE NI

We’re passionate about celebrating the kindness and generosity of our Randox employees. Each have their own unique and interesting story to tell and many give up their spare time to support their local community and help those in need.

Their compassion and commitment is what makes Randox the successful company it is today, and this month we have two Randox employees whose bravery and dedication emulates this perfectly.

Céline Hasson, Randox Customer Relationship Executive, and Kenny Galloway, Business Relations Manager are both taking to the skies on Saturday 18th May for a charity skydive in aid of one of our official charity partners, AWARE NI.

Below they both explain why they wanted to take part in the charity skydive, and what it means to them to be able to raise funds for the main depression charity for Northern Ireland.

Kenneth Galloway, Randox Health Business Relations Manager, commented;

“This year in 2019 so far we have already seen so many people take their own lives here in Northern Ireland. It’s so terribly heartbreaking and let’s face it, avoidable. Our help is needed more than ever which is why I have decided to conquer my fear of heights and hurl myself out of an airplane at 10,000 feet. I want to be able to raise awareness of this charity and to raise money to allow other people to benefit from what could be, to many, a life-changing service.

“Together we can make a difference, so I humbly ask you today to be a part of this great cause, by making a donation big or small.”

Céline Hasson, Customer Relationship Executive, added;

“People with mental health conditions deserve as much support and compassion as those will physical health conditions. So with this in mind I have signed myself up for a skydive in May with a goal to fundraise £500+ for AWARE NI.

“I’m sure every person reading this has either suffered or knows someone who has/is suffering from depression, so please donate to a great cause like AWARE NI. Let’s support them to help support others.”

Did you know?

  • 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem each year
  • Anxiety and depression are the most common mental disorders
  • Overall prevalence of mental health conditions in Northern Ireland is up to 25% higher than in England
  • 9 out of 10 people with mental health problems experience stigma and discrimination

What can you do?

Whilst Céline and Kenny have committed to a skydive with Moonjumpers Sky Diving, you have the easy part.

Simply make a donation and contribute to the very worthy AWARE NI, which has an established network of 24 support groups in rural and urban areas across the county, and also delivers mental health and well-being programmes into communities, schools, colleges, universities and workplaces.

To view Kenny’s JustGiving page please visit; https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kenny-jnr

To view Céline’s JustGiving page please visit; https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/celine-hasson1

For further information about Randox’s charity work with AWARE NI, please contact the Randox PR team by emailing randoxpr@randox.com or phoning 028 9442 2413.

 

 

 

 

 

 


We Are Randox | Staff Newsletter Jan-Mar 2019 Edition

Staff Newsletter January - March 2019 Edition

We are delighted to be able to share with you the Q1 2019 edition of our We Are Randox staff newsletter!

Click here for a range of company and staff news from January to March 2019 – including a visit from the UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock and the 2019 launch of our popular Randox Health Grand National Family Fun Day in Donegal!

** Please note that image links work most efficiently in your Google Chrome browser**

 


We Are Randox | Lauren Todd shortlisted in Ulster University Placement Awards

Randox is a placement-friendly business and we’re proud to be a top employer when it comes to students searching for their perfect placement opportunity before final year. Ulster University Business Studies student Lauren Todd joined the Randox sales team in September 2017 as a placement student, finishing with us in June 2018.

We were delighted to attend a ceremony at Ulster University’s Jordanstown campus last week where Lauren was shortlisted for a UU Placement Award. We caught up with her after the ceremony;

Lauren, congratulations on your award! Can you tell us about your university and career path to date?

During my first two years of university, I worked in retail as a cash office supervisor before leaving in the summer of 2017 to start into my placement year at Randox. I am now in my final year at UUJ and working as a private tutor to A-Level Business Studies students.

Why Randox and how did you find your placement year?

Randox is a globally recognised company with a very close links with Ulster University, and I wanted to complete my placement year with a company that would help me develop my skills outside of the classroom. I thoroughly enjoyed my placement year at Randox and it has allowed me to improve my ‘soft’ skills such as communication, teamwork and problem solving.

What was a typical day like for you at Randox?

A typical day at Randox consisted of daily communication with the global sales team, continual analysis of CRM data and the teams sales figures, compiling reports and providing feedback to the team.

How are you finding being back in university for final year?

Final year has been tough, but it’s scary that we only have six weeks left! My placement year at Randox has enabled me to become a more confident individual, and this has helped with final year projects such as group tasks and class presentations.

What was the award that you were presented with today and how are you feeling about it?

I was commended in the Excellence in Employability Awards from the Ulster University Business School. I am proud to have been shortlisted for this award as Randox have allowed me to develop my skills and helped me to work to my full potential. It feels amazing to gain this recognition from Ulster and that my contribution to the company has been beneficial.

What are your plans for after you leave university?

After graduation, I am looking forward to a few weeks off – and a much-needed two week holiday to Portugal – before starting into a full time graduate job.

To find out more about placement opportunities with Randox, please contact recruitment@randox.com.

 

 

 


We Are Randox | Sarah Casey wins Southern Regional College Science Competition

There are many different science roles at Randox which require many different skillsets – and there are as many different pathways to get to them! One such pathway is the Higher Level Apprenticeship offered by Randox in collaboration with Northern and Southern Regional Colleges.

Sarah Casey is both a Randox Higher Level Apprentice and a student at Portadown Southern Regional College. We caught up with her fresh from her win at the Southern Regional College Science Competition in January 2019.

Sarah, congratulations on winning the science award at Southern Regional College!

Please tell us more about the Science Competition you took part in – and won – at Southern Regional College. 

The competition was held at the SRC Newry Campus and consisted of two experiments. I competed against other students from Randox, Almac and Norbrook.

For the first experiment, I had to find the concentration of an unknown sample of copper sulphate. I carried out a serial dilution using a known concentration of copper sulphate and then found the absorbance of each of the standards. I then found the absorbance for the unknown sample as well. From this I was able to plot a graph and determine the concentration of the unknown sample.  

For the second experiment, I had to carry out a titration of iodine against sodium thiosulphate. I added the sodium thiosulphate to the iodine solution until the solution appeared pale yellow. I added a few drops of the starch indicator and continued titrating until the solution appeared colourless. I recorded the titre and then repeated the titration two more times to find an average titre. I then had to complete several questions relating to this experiment.

 

What did you study before you applied for the Higher Level Apprenticeship?

I previously studied A-Levels at St. Joseph’s Grammar school, undertaking Biology, Chemistry and Digital Technology.  I always had a keen interest in science when I was younger so after studying Biology and Chemistry for A-Level I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in this field. In school I enjoyed the practical aspect of subjects which lead me to want to take part in this Higher Level Apprenticeship.

 

Where are you currently studying and what do you like most about your course?

I am studying the Life Science pathway of Applied Industrial Science at Portadown Southern Regional College. This course is based on biology and I have just finished semester one. I enjoy learning about buffer solutions, oxidation and redox reaction.  For semester two, I look forward to studying physiology and continue to gain more knowledge about biology.

 

How did you hear about Higher Level Apprenticeships at Randox?

I heard about the higher level apprenticeship from my Careers teacher at school. He highly recommended that we tried out for the apprenticeship. After I applied after carrying out some research online. I was then offered a place here at Randox and started in September 2018.

 

Could you give a brief description of a typical day at Randox for you?

At the moment, I am based in the QC Serum department carrying out value assignments for Randox products. On a typical day I will come into work and carry out the daily maintenance on the RX Daytona and Imola. I will then have a look through the assignment folder to check what lots need to be assigned a value. I will gather the calibrator, controls and test lots in order to reconstitute them. While they are rolling, I will collect the necessary reagents. The test is then carried out. Afterwards I will type up the results into a spreadsheet to check if the lots have passed. I can carry out nest tests, two-day assignments and calibrator validations for chemistrys, lipids and cardiac. In between runs, I check sheets that are sent to customers.

 

What qualifications will you have when your Higher Level Apprenticeship at Randox ends?

I will finish my apprenticeship in September 2020. Since joining Randox only a few months ago I have already gained so many invaluable skills. By the end of this apprenticeship I hope to be competent with most or all the analysers used at Randox while continuing to exhibit good laboratory practice.  At the end of the apprenticeship I will gained a foundation degree in Applied Industrial Sciences. I can then progress onto year two of Biomedical Science at Ulster University.

 

Would you recommend a Higher Level Apprenticeship at Randox to someone else and why?

I would highly recommend the higher level apprenticeship. It is a great experience and provides all the necessary skills required to pursue a career in this industry. Also, it allows you to earn while you learn so it’s a win-win situation as a student!

 

For more information about Sarah’s story or to hear more about the Higher Level Apprenticeship at Randox, please contact RandoxPR@randox.com. 

 

 

 

 


We Are Randox | BBC NI’s The Search features Randox colleague Dale McGall

On Tuesday 23rd January 2019, a new three-part documentary series, The Search, aired on BBC Northern Ireland, featuring Randox’s very own Dale McGall.

By day, Dale is a Regulatory Compliance Officer at Randox making sure that all our products are of the highest quality and comply with all quality regulations before they are shipped all over the world to our customers.

Outside of work, however, Dale takes on a very different role when he volunteers as a Search and Rescue Technician (SarTECH) with the Community Rescue Service organisation in Northern Ireland (part of Lowland Rescue). Community Rescue Service is a team of approximately 130 people with units spread across the country on a 100% voluntary basis.

We caught up with Dale to hear all about his work as a SARTech volunteer;

Congratulations to CRS on the documentary, Dale! Can you tell us a little more about the work of Community Rescue Service and the role you play as a volunteer?

The Association of Lowland Search and Rescue (ALSAR) is an umbrella organisation that enables Search and Rescue teams throughout the UK. It coordinates provision of Lowland SAR services, sets national standards for the teams and develops and shapes Lowland SAR policies.

In Northern Ireland, the team is known as the Community Rescue Service with units and personnel from all parts of the country. Presently there are units in Strabane, Coleraine, Portglenone, Broughshane, Antrim, Belfast, and South Down, amongst others.

Training is a key part of being in CRS. Before being allowed out on a Search, personnel are required to conduct training on map reading, radio communication, first aid, search techniques and water awareness. Over time, people can take part in additional training; from being part of a boat crew and use of kayaks, to water rescue and advanced first aid.

Within CRS, I am a Search and Rescue Technician (SARTech) and have completed several first aid courses.

How long have you been involved with Community Rescue Service?

I have been with CRS since 2017 when I was looking for volunteering opportunities outside of work. I saw some social media posts about the work of the Community Rescue Service and decided to get in touch.

The rest, as they say, is history!

I train weekly with the Antrim, Portglenone and Broughshane units. This training involves reinforcing existing knowledge, familiarisation training, and inviting third party organisations to give us specialist advice.

Can you describe a typical day/operation in the life of a CRS volunteer?

It may sound cliché but no two days are the same with the CRS! As well as the operational role of Search and Rescue, I have also found myself supervising street collections, marshalling for cycling clubs, and giving talks to other organisations.

What would a typical rescue involve?

Our rescues most often involve vulnerable high-risk members of society. Typically, this could be children, elderly people living with dementia, or those with mental health issues.

A call can go out at any time of the day or night and to any part of the country. I’ve been involved in searches that have lasted weeks and have had massive resources invested in them. Just as often though, I’ve had call-outs for which I’ve arrived at the meeting point and then been given the order to stand down as the missing person has been found. In either situation, our focus is locating the missing person as soon as possible and returning them to a place of safety.

It can a very busy lifestyle volunteering with CRS. While I can’t leave during working hours, as soon as I clock out from Randox I am ‘on duty’ with CRS because a call can come in at any time. Being flexible with your evenings, weekends and annual leave is a must as time is of the essence when a person goes missing.

On one occasion, I was involved in an overnight search in County Down, returning home around 09:00. A quick shower, change of clothes and I was back out to another rescue based in North Antrim. Is this compulsory? No, but as an operational SARTech, you are part of a team and there is a strong teamwork ethos where we support and help each other.

Is there anything you would like to share that you think isn’t commonly known about the CRS?

Something I wasn’t overly aware of before joining CRS is how dementia can affect people. People with dementia can regress to a period of their lives many decades ago. One search involved an elderly gentleman with dementia who had gone missing. Approximately thirty SARTechs were deployed across a wide area with a helicopter flying overhead. About an hour later, the call came to stand down as the gentleman had been found. What I found amazing about this particular search was the gentleman, who was not steady on his feet and used a zimmer frame to walk, was found roughly five miles away from his house!

As volunteers, none of us get paid but knowing you helped return a missing person to their loved ones is beyond any form of financial reward.

How does being a SarTECH volunteer compare with working in your day job at Randox?

The two roles are very different but there are a number of transferrable skills which have proved useful! The main one is attention to detail. In my role at Randox as a Regulatory Compliance Officer, I am often auditing performance and processes across the company. Not only do I review new and existing compliance legislation but I am also involved in assisting with the implementation of corrective and preventive actions.

My role as a SarTECH calls for a similar level of attention to detail. You never know where someone could be, or where there may be unknown danger for the missing person or the Search and Rescue team, so it’s important to always be on-your-guard and alert to even the smallest noise or change in environment when out on a rescue mission.

What do you hope The Search will achieve on BBC NI?

I’m hoping the series being aired will raise awareness of some of the challenges that we as a country face. The Search will help to showcase our people, capabilities and our professionalism. The Community Rescue Service is a vital service in Northern Ireland, but is 100% run by volunteers on whom the organisation very much relies.

If anyone would like to find out more information about the work I do with the Community Rescue Service, please visit https://www.communityrescue.org

You can watch The Search on BBC iPlayer here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0byhv18/the-search-series-1-episode-1

For more We Are Randox stories about our amazing colleagues, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and follow the hashtag #WeAreRandox.

For further information please contact Randox PR by emailing randoxpr@randox.com  

 

 

 


We Are Randox | Armagh GAA forward Stefan Campbell

One of our favourite things about our We Are Randox series of staff interviews is the opportunity we are given to find out about the unique and interesting talents of our colleagues.

From creative bakers to melodious musicians, motivated Girl Guide leaders to athletic sportspeople, many of our staff are just as busy outside of the office as they are in it.

Take Tender Coordinator Stefan Campbell for instance. By day Stefan spends time identifying potential business for the company – conducting local and global searches, collating technical specifications and compiling financial information – but in the evenings and weekends he’s impressively one of the forwards for the Armagh Senior Footballers, a Gaelic Football team that competes at an all-Ireland level.

We caught up with Stefan to find out about his intense training regime, his goals for the future of his GAA career, and of course his advice for the newly-formed Randox GAA team!

Here’s Stefan’s story.

I suppose Gaelic Football has always run through the different generations of my family so it was only natural that I began playing at a young age. My brother John played for our local club Clan Na Gael, so after having played for St. Pauls Lurgan, I then moved to Clan Na Gael where he played. I’ve now been a member there for 16 years.

Our County Club, Armagh, then won their first All-Ireland Championship in 2002, with a team that included two players from Clan Na Gael, and so I was inspired to try out for my county myself. The rest as they say, is history.

I’m currently in my 7th season with the Armagh Senior Footballers, after having played for the U18 and U21 squads. My position is usually full forward, alongside two other team mates, however I do often rotate amongst the total line-up of 6 forwards.

Obviously being a forward I am expected to score in each game, and to give you an idea of figures I have had two games in the last week in which I scored 8 points against Antrim and 3 points against Monaghan. I therefore have to make sure to refine my skills in terms of scoring, passing, and timing of the tackle, but there is also quite a lot of emphasis on just simply working hard and putting in the effort to train, as it is an incredibly physical game. Typically, a county team trains 4 nights a week with 2 sessions being in the gym and 2 on the field, at the Callanbridge facility in Armagh.

I’ve played in the opening 3 games of The Dr McKenna Cup (a Gaelic Football competition between counties and universities in Ulster) thus far, and need to make sure I keep up my training so that I remain in the team for the upcoming matches. There is a lot of pressure coming from other very talented squad members, looking for their opportunity to impress, so I have to be on top form.

In the short-term, we have The Dr McKenna Cup Final against Tyrone this Saturday (in which I’m obviously hoping for a win!) and in the longer term I’m really hoping I can win an Armagh Championship with Clan Na Gael. I would also love to secure an Ulster Championship win with Armagh, which is a title I’m still searching for, even though I won the Railway Cup in 2017 playing for Ulster.

The Railway Cup is an annual tournament steeped in history, as it dates back as far as 1927. There is such a large pool of players to choose from when forming an Ulster team, so I know my family was very proud when I was selected, and even more so when we went on to defeat Connaught in the final. I loved the opportunity to play alongside teammates I’m usually competing against.

Another highlight of my GAA career was when I played Gaelic Football in New York, over the course of two summers. Although GAA is an Irish organisation, Gaelic Football is played all over the world in countries such as Dubai, Hong Kong, Australia and the USA, albeit at a lower level than it is played back home. Local players are poached and asked if they would be interested in playing for a particular team in the summer, while they set you up with a job and accommodation. In 2015 I was asked to play for Kerry New York and in 2017 for Westmeath New York, and I found the temptation to spend 3 months abroad, basically free of charge, too good to turn down.

For the record though, GAA is an amateur organisation and therefore as players we don’t get paid to do what we do. Don’t get me wrong, it has its perks, like the unique opportunity to play live on Sky or on the BBC, but ultimately, we play for the love of the sport, while representing our families and communities.  It’s this passion that drives me each week to train consistently and improve my skills, even after a day’s work at the Randox office. I do often have long days during which I leave work, go straight to training, and arrive home at about 10.45pm, but it’s something I’m used to and prepare for accordingly. I will say though that it’s extremely difficult to get out of bed on Mondays having played a game the previous day!

As luck will have it, joining Randox means that I now have the opportunity to bring my two careers together, as the company has recently established its own GAA team, which recently competed in the FinTru Ulster Inter-Firms Competition. I don’t see any reason, that with a bit of luck, and the experience we now have from last year, why we can’t get bigger and better and reach this year’s final.

My advice would be to get the squad together as often as our other commitments will allow, to give us more time to polish up our skills, but also, importantly, to become more familiar with our teammates from other departments. I have often found that the most successful teams are not always the most talented, but those with a tighter bond – as they understand their fellow players, can anticipate their game play, and are willing to work that bit harder for one another.

For more We Are Randox stories about our amazing colleagues, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and follow the hashtag #WeAreRandox.

For further information please contact Randox PR by emailing randoxpr@randox.com 

 

 

 


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