Sports-mad Ronan has a drive to make lives better

    Ronan McKenna

    THIS week’s High Flyer is Ronan McKenna, regional community sports manager at GLL ((Better Gyms Belfast)

    What was your first job?

    When I was 8 years old I was assistant paper boy to my older brother. I’m not sure if he paid me though!

    What qualifications do you have?

    I have a BSc (Hons) in Sport, Exercise and Leisure, and a Commendation – Advanced Diploma in Social Enterprise. I also have a number of coaching, fitness and sporting qualifications too.

    What do you attribute your success to?

    My passion for sport and leisure is a big part of it. I also am passionate about social enterprise and making lives better and I have a real desire to make a difference for local people and communities through sport.

    How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?

    Friendly, enthusiastic and hard working.

    Who do you look up to in business?

    I have been inspired by some phenomenal leaders from the social enterprise sector such as John McMullan (ex CEO Bryson charitable group) and Maeve Monaghan (CEO NOW Group). Also our own GLL regional director, Gareth Kirk. He is a business leader in the social enterprise sector who leads our team through times of huge change with the current leisure transformation programme and new leisure centre developments in Belfast. Gareth has a great ability to keep a large team motivated during times of change.

    How do you get the best out of people who work for you?

    I am very supportive of my team and empower them to feel ownership and make the role their own. I also ensure they are given continuous development opportunities. Reward and recognition of hard work is critical because it acknowledges team milestones and successes and keeps everybody motivated.

    If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?

    A Social Value Act for Northern Ireland would provide a legislative framework and formal recognition of the importance and impact the social enterprise sector plays in the business community locally.

    What website or app could you not do without?

    Whatsapp. I use it daily to communicate with family, friends and work colleagues.

    What was the last book you read?

    The Choice by Philly McMahon, Dublin Gaelic Footballer. A great read about his personal experiences, challenges and successes in life.

    What car do you drive? Vauxhall Insignia.

    Tell us something interesting about yourself?

    I once got a hole in one (12th hole) playing golf at Silverwood course in Lurgan.

    What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?

    Sport. I’m a member of St Paul’s GAC and coach the senior hurling team. I enjoy most sports and keeping fit by attending our fantastic Better leisure centres and take part in local park runs.