WITH the semi-final of the National Hurling League this Sunday foremost in his mind, Richie Power is managing the balancing act of work and sport with the ease of a practised campaigner.
As one of Kilkenny’s more prominent hurlers with a medal haul that includes six All-Irelands, seven Leinster championships, four National Leagues and two All Stars, the careful preparation for big matches is a routine he knows intimately at this point of his career.
As the Kinetica sales manager for the east, south east and midlands, his work and sporting commitments are maintained on parallel tracks in a schedule running as smoothly as the forward line of his famous team.
“My main brief in the job is to maintain existing customers of Kinetica products, as well as acquiring new business in locations where we might not yet have a strong presence,” he explains. “Educating new customers on the benefits of the products is an important part of the job, and being someone myself who has long benefited from them, does make it very easy to promote them.”
Kinetica Sports is part of the Carbery Group, headquartered at Ballineen in Co Cork, a major ingredients manufacturer which was one of the first on the market with commercial whey proteins over 30 years ago.
Farmer owned and operating one of the largest cheese factories in Europe, the company generates fresh dairy whey for its protein production in a controlled environment advertised with a “cow-to-can” reliability.
Kinetica was launched in 2009 with an initial focus on the Irish market, and has since launched in the UK, establishing as a leading sports nutrition brand through a host of partnerships, including the Bradford Bulls, Cambridge and Oxford RFC’s, Leicester Tigers and London Irish.
“Since the company launched back in 2009 it has gone from strength to strength, and there are very few places that would not have Kinetica products at this point,” said Richie Power.
“Our involvement in the triathlon scene and in the GAA has certainly contributed to raising the profile, but it has also benefited to a huge extent from word-of-mouth endorsements by ordinary people who tried and liked the results it delivers. Getting Kinetica into the hands of consumers is very much what it is all about with this kind of product, potential consumers need to taste and try it before they buy,” he said.
Within the GAA and rugby worlds, Kinetica has become associated with a number of high profile players who act as brand ambassadors, including Graham Canty, Darran O’Sullivan, Dermot Earley, Tommy Bowe and Stephen Ferris.
“Without a doubt, it helps my work a lot that I take the Kinetica products myself, and when I’m talking with customers and other players can endorse what they do,” he said. “It does, I think, add credibility when people see that someone like myself has used these products and can speak about exactly what it is they can do. It lends confidence to the product.”
Richie’s own sporting performance is the ultimate endorsement of the products: “Having used Kinetica for the last two years, I can genuinely say I could not function as I do without their recovery products, in particular whey protein.”
Drug screening is an integral part of the manufacturing process, with every batch laboratory screened by HFL Sport, one of the world’s leading independent drug surveillance laboratories, to ISO 17025 standards, and free from any banned substances. All products are also tested within the framework of World Anti-Doping Association to ensure that athletes don’t inadvertently fail drug tests. Kinetica complies with all the relevant regulatory authorities on all ingredients and on-pack claims, including the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and the European Food Safety Authority.
“In the same way that it was important for me to know that these products had undergone extensive testing when I started taking them myself, it does make it much easier to promote them when I can explain their benefits to myself and what they do for me on and off the playing field. Giving this level of backing to your products is vital in today’s sporting world, they must have an absolute level of transparency or you are going nowhere with them,” he adds.
The company’s purpose-built Centre of Excellence for Nutrition houses modern research laboratories for product development and analytical work.
Carberry’s three decades of expertise in sensory science and flavour chemistry are constantly updated and refined to chart better solutions and remedies to the ever-increasing demands of modern sport in all its forms.
“By continuously revising our product range, we use the best new ideas, technologies and ingredients to improve our products. Our success is down to a diverse team of people with a wealth of knowledge about every aspect of the sports nutrition industry.” In the modern sporting environment, nutritional supplements have become an essential in every premier sportsperson’s kit bag: “At the end of the day, they are scientifically designed for people to get the most out of their training. But I would always emphasise that these supplements should be used with a healthy, balanced diet,” he cautions.
With the semi-final of the hurling league two days away and the start of the championship just around the corner, the work and play balance will be tested to the full for Richie Power over the next few months. It’s a place he’s well used to at this stage of his career, and approaches it with an experienced familiarity. “Training is a big part of my life, and especially at this time of the year. We take each game as it comes, as we always do, and see where it takes us over the summer,” he says.
“Brian Cody’s medical situation has been a bit of a blow to us, but there are good people to step into his shoes for this period, and we’ll drive it on without him for now. None of us doubt he’ll be there on the sideline very soon again, but, in the meantime, we are all ready and able to step it up a gear to maintain things until he’s back amongst us again.”
Name: Richie Power
Occupation: Sales Manager, Leinster, Kinetica Sports
Background: Kinetica Sports is part of the Carbery Group, headquartered at Ballineen, Cork, producing a range of sports nutritional products. Launched in 2009 with an initial focus on the Irish market, it has since launched in the UK establishing partnerships with leading teams such as Leicester Tigers and London Irish.