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Rob Heffernan

Five Times Olympian

Honest, outspoken and wearing his heart on his sleeve, Rob is open about the mistakes he has made, the fiercely competitive nature which drives him, and the lessons he has learned, and the people who have inspired, challenged and supported him along the way.


Deemed too small for his school’s Gaelic football team at the age of fourteen, Rob Heffernan took up race walking on a whim. Over the next twenty-four years, driven by a fiercely competitive nature and a dogged desire to be the best in the world, he strode his way to the pinnacle of the sport, becoming world champion of the 50km walk in Moscow in 2013 & Bronze medal in London 2012 Olympics. In 2016, he became the first athlete ever to represent Ireland at the Olympic Games for a fifth time.

Rob, from Togher in Cork city, says "Years of dedication, self-sacrifice and hard work might get you qualification for the Games, but even after that you still have to time everything right to be in the best form of your life on that one day that counts, the day of your race." In a no-holds-barred account, Rob describes his battles with injury, depression and abject poverty on his way to the top. Even when at his best, he often found himself cheated out of medals by those who crossed the dark line into doping.

Rob has completed many key note addresses to Corporates, Retail & Financial Sector over the past couple of years including FBD, Bank of Ireland, Royal College of Surgeons, VHI, Voxpro, Aldi, MC2 Group, Teen Talks ( Mental Health organised by Event Plan), Sigmar Recruitment (Talent Summit).

His achievements include:

    1. 5 times Olympian


    1. 2013 IAAF World 50km Race-walking Champion


    1. 2012 London Olympic Games Bronze, 50km Race-walk


    1. 2010 European 20km Bronze


    1. Irish 10km, 20km & 50km National Record Holder


    1. 29 Irish International Caps


    1. 15 Indoor National Titles


    1. 22 Irish Outdoor Titles (10km,20km & 30km)


    Irish Athletics Team Captain Rio Olympic Games
  • Building High Performance
    Health & Wellbeing
    Mental Health
    Motivation and Self-Belief
    Personal Resilience

"Rob gave an energising, inspiring and very honest talk. There was a great buzz about the place after." Sinead Duane, MSD Ireland

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