Motivational talk with Dr. Karen Weekes

January 30, 2023

Recently we welcomed Dr. Karen Weekes to our school to give a talk to our 3rd and 6th year students ahead of their pre exams. Dr. Karen Weekes, a sports psychologist from Kinvara, Co Galway, is the first Irish woman to row across the Atlantic solo. She did this back in 2021. She is also the 20th female globally to have rowed an ocean solo. She launched her journey from Gran Canaria on December 6, 2021. During her epic 80-day transatlantic journey to Barbados, she endured Atlantic storms, steering problems, squalls, and a close encounter with a hammerhead shark. Karen’s talk focused on her adventure but also on her life lessons. She spoke about the importance of the motivation, willpower, visualisation and resilience, all of these needed by our students for the months ahead as they face exams. Karen was inspiring and we were delighted to hear her speak at our school.

Her incredible journey was documented on social media through the #SHECANDO2021 campaign, which aims to provide a platform for encouraging women and girls to push themselves outside their comfort zones and believe in their abilities to succeed both in their work and everyday lives. In addition to encouraging girls and women, Weekes’ amazing undertaking raised nearly €40,000 for both the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) and the Irish children’s hospice Laura Lynn Foundation. Weekes also wants to bring awareness to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, specifically on ‘gender equality’ and ‘life under the water’ which focuses on ocean conservation and sustainability.

We look forward to welcoming Karen back to our school again some time soon. We wish her continued success along with our students who face exams this week. Best of luck!