“They are there for me on and off the field | Kyle Hayes on mental health, well being and “exciting” Limerick

The Limerick star was speaking to Kirby Group Engineering as part of their #PeopleFirst series.

Kyle Hayes has won it all in the hurling world. Days after turning 20, the Kildimo Pallaskenry man was man of the match as Limerick ended a 45-year wait for All-Ireland honours.

He was subsequently named Young Hurler of the Year. A transition to wing back followed in 2020 as Limerick claimed a second title in three years, which they made three on the trot earlier this year with the win over Kilkenny.

Hayes added a pair of All-Stars during that run, which will likely be three come December as he filled the void left by the injured Cian Lynch.

And speaking to Kirby Group Engineering , where he is a HR Officer, for their #PeopleFirst series, Hayes spoke of the atmosphere around the county after their latest success.

“Limerick is one of the most exciting places to be right now, the atmosphere is palpable.

“This year was the first year, since 2018, that we could have a proper homecoming. At the end of the day, we play for our county, our fans, our families, and ourselves, it’s only fitting that we celebrate together.”

7 August 2021; Kyle Hayes of Limerick after the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final match between Limerick and Waterford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

The Kildimo Pallaskenry man took up a full-time role with the company he was an intern with after graduating with a degree in Business Studies in UL in 2020.

In the #PeopleFirst series, Hayes discussed the similarities in the business and sport psychology worlds as he praised the efforts of Kirby in making the workplace a supportive one.

The All-Star also urged people to speak out about their struggles, highlighting how it isn’t a weakness.

 “A lot of men see talking about their struggles as a weakness, it’s not. The sooner you turn to someone and say that you’re not okay, the sooner people can come together and support you. That’s what a team does.

“In hurling you never leave a team member behind; you are one team and work together to achieve a common goal. Kirby has the same mindset; we wear one jersey. Working in the HR team I know that the work I do prepares our team to put their best foot forward on our projects.

“The work that goes on behind the scenes at Limerick GAA is definitely comparable to what I see at work, as our site teams head out to the field with the backing of people like me behind the scenes. At Kirby we look after our team.

“Kirby is an incredibly supportive workplace; the directors are approachable and are all willing to develop and train you to be the best you can be. They are there for me on and off the field.”

6 October 2019; Kyle Hayes of Kildimo/Pallaskenry during the Limerick County Premier Intermediate Club Hurling Championship Final match between Blackrock and Kildimo/Pallaskenry at LIT Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Last year, for Kirby, Hayes spoke about his top tips for maintaining good mental health and well being which can be found here.

“In every part of your life, whether that’s playing high-level sport or working under pressure on site, you have to look after yourself and that requires a huge amount of mental resilience. You can’t focus on your mistakes, you have to focus on your goal and keep a positive mindset at all times.”

Hayes will be in club action this Saturday as his Kildimo Pallaskenry take on Ballybrown in the Limerick SHC third round in Askeaton.

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